Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Technology: Twitter

I'm a pretty fast adopter. And I like to try new things. I learn quickly. (these are fairly standard traits of the modern librarian I think) These traits are what lead to a podcast for School Library Journal last year.

There's been a lot of talk recently about Twitter. I've tried it. I don't like it.

I particularly don't like Twitter, but that's only because I can't see a use for it in my life. Maybe if I did more texting on my phone. I don't know. I don't see the point of using Twitter if you're tied to a machine. Sure, some people have used it for a 'what I'm reading type thing' like I used LibraryThing. That's pretty cool. But I like what I'm using for that same concept. Some people use it to coordinate themselves at a conference. That's really cool. But I'd have to be using some sort of web-enabled handheld device that I don't own to do that. And go to a conference. And have everyone I was trying to meet also doing the same thing I was doing.

Hey, I like being in touch with people. I just 1200 miles away from all the people I've known for the past ten years. Twitter isn't going to help them connect to me. And I can't imagine why anyone would care what I'm doing from minute to minute. If Twitter could watch me and post its own updates every five minutes or so, that would be way cool. I think I hate how much extra work something like Twitter makes for me. It's tough enough getting everything I need to get done without also telling people what I'm doing while I do it. That's what this (and the other blogs I write for) is for. For big events.

I also like my privacy. I have a 14-month old baby girl. There are a lot of things that I talk about online. I'm a fairly open person. At the same time, there are parts of my life that are private. That I don't share. If I'm not travelling (physically moving) my cel phone is off. There are very few people who need to get in touch with me at ANY moment. The list consists of my wife. Everyone else can wait until I get their message.

So basically, Twitter is too intrusive for what I like about technology.


LibraryNation said...

I agree. Twittering to me seems like hyper-meta-life-data. It's too much. Too much to keep track of on the receiving end, and too much to do on the sending end.

How can I possibly get on with the business of living my life if I'm trying to blog about it minute-by-minute?

I read a complaint the other day on one of my marketing blog feeds (can't remember where...must've been pre-) where the blogger pretty much denounced liveblogging from conferences because the resulting "notes" were practically useless to anyone who wasn't the author. I see twittering as having similar faults. I'd much rather have the condensed, reflective entry of a blog that tries to tie the loose pieces together with an overarching "Point."

I'm trying to come up with some application where Twittering would be beneficial to libraries and I don't know if I can. I'm sure I read a suggestion that library notifications could be sent out via Twitter for libraries that didn't have email notifications built in, or who wanted to add texting notifications, but I'm not convinced this is what patrons need/want.

LibraryNation said...

Sorry about that. Blogger has been eating my tags of late. Perhaps it doesn't like my links?

What I meant to say was "pre-ClipMarks" and then link to my Clipmarks page. *sigh*