Ok, I will have to confess that I wasn't online for the first night of #BYOD4L. I received a late invite from some auld friends from Glasgow to go and see Mogwai in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. How could I refuse?
The theme for last night’s Twitter chat was communication. I've been using twitter for 6 years or so and initially my main use of it was for communication was to follow and broadcast from conferences and events that I was attending or would liked to have attended. Fairly standard stuff.
My communication set up for the evening was a laptop running Tweetdeck. I also had two tabs open in Chrome accessing the MELSIG twitter account and my own. In addition, my mobile was buzzing like an electronic bug zapper but it wasn't used as part of my chat, but it kept me audibly aware of the connections and activity going on. I've never fully experienced the frenetic pace of a live, timed chat on a specific subject before. been using it to connect with people at conferences. I've witnessed #PHDchat but not previously participated in it.
As a digital bystander on a Tweet chat, you really don't fully experience the maelstrom of posts, retweets, mentions and the raft of ideas being put out there, exchanged, modified and understood. However, I now understand more clearly how energising and informative it can be when structured around specific questions. It can also be quite tiring after a whole day sat at the keyboard/ mouse. Hence this blog post didn't get written last night!
Is Twitter a good way to communicate? For me the answer is yes and no. On the one hand it allows people to come together and chat from wherever they are in the world. There are no barriers all you need is a Twitter account, a device and a web connection. It provides the opportunity for instant, speedy response, a gut response perhaps. Is it an unthinking response? Does this speed make for efficient learning? Does you reflection time become invaded or pressured by the ‘now’?
Possibly, but I think that regular users who communicate in this space may have already built up that internal, immediate reflection space. Stepping back and reviewing what you write or re-tweet on a public digital space is a kind of reflection? Isn't it? Hmmmm, thinking aloud now. However, there is a lot of noise goes on during the chat. Posts get lost, sometimes meanings can be misinterpreted and it does all happen in breathtaking real time. A challenge for even the seasoned tweeter. But of course, you can move into the slow lane. Twitter chats can be recorded and poured over at a later date using tools such as Storify. This is twitter slowed down with tweets cherry picked for interestingness or contributing to the overall narrative or story. Which brings us nicely onto tonight's topic of curating. See you tonight.
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