Using Twitter

September 6, 2009

José Picardo in a recent blog post is not too happy with the way in which some people use Twitter.

Twitter is being abused. I’m not talking about spammers or celebrities, who we know use Twitter as a means to achieve self promotion. I am talking about people like you and me, with similar interests and expertise (education in this case), who are followed by many but only choose to follow a tiny proportion back.

My complaint, whine – whatever you want to call it – is that by not following back most of their followers, these people are, wittingly or unwittingly, taking advantage of their followers’ willingness to share, participate and converse, whilst putting in evidence their lack thereof.

No one is forced to follow anyone on Twitter, nor should it be the case that people follow each other.

If you want to be followed and the @famousteacher does not follow you, then don’t follow them.

If you’re not happy about helping them and them not helping you then don’t help them, or don’t follow them.

The problem arises that everyone wants Twitter to be their ideal tool and the reality is that it is everyone’s ideal tool, just that not everyone has the same ideals.

I believe that Twitter is not about information and links but is all about the coffee. However many don’t want the coffee chat and therefore my model is not what they want.

To be honest that is the beauty of Twitter.

The reality is that we can’t tell people how to use Twitter as they have their way of using it and you have yours. They are not the same way and nor can they be. Unless we each follow exactly the same people, use the same tools, and follow the same etiquette it is impossible for each of us to have and use Twitter in the same way.

We need to work out how Twitter works for us and use it accordingly. follow people for a range of reasons, I never expect any of them to follow me back.

What are you going to pack?

September 6, 2009

There are always some things I now take with me when I attend ALT-C which I find useful.

6 way gang – instead of fighting people for the power sockets, you can immediately make five friends! Also useful when you are back in your hotel room (halls) and need to charge the laptop, the phone, the iPod, use the hairdryer, etc… Make sure it has been PAT tested!

Coffee – I can’t stand instant coffee, so I take some of those Coffee Bags you can buy or Rombout Coffee filters. Of course if you drink that tea stuff then you can bring your own bags of what you like and are use to. I always pop out and buy fresh milk too!


Chargers – don’t forget your chargers, easy to forget and a nightmare when your phone or laptop runs out of juice. Or you can’t use it for the week.

Velcro fixings – For your poster and bring enough because someone you know will have forgotten to bring theirs.

Camera – to take the odd photo or two, I use mine to take photographs of really good posters so I can review them later at my leisure. Amazing how much detail a 7.2MP image can capture of a poster. I also use it to capture slides in presentations (ie URLS and e-mail addresses), I even use it to photograph flyers so I can carry less.

MiFi or 3G Stick – I am sure that the WiFi at the conference venue will be fine, however whatabout at the hotel, the dinner, the train… I will be bringing my new MiFi which allows me to connect to the internet over 3G, wirelessly through a wifi connection. The MiFi acts as a wireless access point for up to five clients – will probably make four new friends as a result of bringing it to the conference.

Business Cards – always useful to swap, play cards with, pass ones you have received to others who you don’t want to contact you…

Ethernet Cable – I find in Halls that though they may not have wireless they do have ethernet, having an ethernet cable in your bag is useful in this instance.

USB Cables – you never know when you are going to need one.

Spare batteries – for your MP3 recorder, etc…

Spare SD card – in case you lose yours.

Spare USB Stick – for moving files around.

What are you going to pack?