Several news items this morning are worth blogging on.
First, I noted a CNet news item that Bank of America’s web site was intermittently (?) unavailable last Friday and that the bank used its Twitter feed to let customer’s know that this was the case. Coincidentally, last Thursday I was attending a largish committee meeting where Twitter came up (actually it was a reference to our department’s use of Twitter) and the reaction among those present was uniformly negative, even hostile. One of those ‘I don’t know what it is–I’ve never used it–and I don’t like it’ responses. I see this all the time when referring to Twitter. The general sense is, ‘who has the time.’
I would (and did) say it a,,) doesn’t take much time and b) when you see something valuable, it can really be the only way to find out on a timely basis. The BofA announcement is a pretty good example.
The other problem in academia (see my friend Haydn’s blog about “Twitter in Academia“) may well be that users just have not been exposed to the technologies to get Twitter to work for them. Once they understand that they can get a small, quiet desktop gadget that keeps track of tweets for you, they may want to install it. I use Twitter Explorer, which is a Windows 7 desktop gadget, but there are other good ones. The most popular, I think, is Tweetdeck, but this may be more than the casual–or basic–user wants. Twitter has a page of widgets, gadgets, clients, and add-ons. If you are an iGoogle user, and I am, I find the twittergadget works well.
If the problem is that you don’t like it but haven’t tried it, get a Twitter account, install one of these tools for following tweets, and start following a few. I strongly recommend following our Academic Technology twitter feed to keep up to date on technology news that matters for education and our own blog, event, newsletter, screencast and podcast publications.
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