I started using Twitter a little over a year ago, when I first encountered it while at Northern Voice 2007, and am still active there at http://twitter.com/JeffreyKeefer. Since then, it has become more popular in the last year. I am still surprised with how many people use it for such a variety of purposes, yet there are no usage costs or advertisements on it or otherwise anything that seems questionable.
One of the BarCampNYC3 sessions yesterday speculated about several future revenue models that may or may not be in their business plan. What struck me is that Twitter allows, and even encourages, developers to use the Twitter data in other applications, which is interesting since all of the Twitter data and posts have been available and indexed on Google for some time. If it goes on Twitter, count on it being part of the public Web.
While I do not know Twitter’s business model and am not an investor in their technology, as a user I find their product the pinnacle of clarity and openness. Let’s hope as the technology begins to go mainstream, that they do not turn on their customers.
Come to think of it, does Twitter even have customers?
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It is nice to see some college classes making use of current technologies that are all the rage in the private sector and amongst early-adopters. It is another thing for a professor to formally integrate this by having students sign up for their own accounts.
Such is the story in the recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, where a professor uses Twitter to interact with his students. Thankfully I saw this article in my newsreader on the Twitter blog. While I applaud the effort, it will be wonderful when non-technology or media faculty begin integrating these technologies into their syllabi for their educational value alone, even beyond the technical “wow” factors. This is a wonderful start, and reminds me of when I taught high school years ago and began using email with students to review for exams and work on assignments back in 1997. How times have changed.
I wish I would have tried this with my class that just ended. It would have been great to discuss current news stories, share ideas about upcoming assignments, and even debrief what was learned. This debriefing is where I believe much learning is done, yet it is the connection between what happens in the classroom and how that gets realized in life that formally gets overlooked in the race to “do the assignments.”
I would be happy to speak with any of my former students via Twitter.
I just read a fascinating post from Richard Azia, where he described some of his thoughts having recently Tweeted 10,000 times (in under a year!). He had some really thoughtful reflections about Twitter as a truly social media. I commented on his page about this, sharing my own thoughts about why I started to Tweet more. To quote my own reply:
. . . I have started using it [Twitter] again a lot more because of 3 reasons–I have a BlackBerry and started using TwitterBerry, since it makes it easier to Tweet while on the run. Secondly, I find myself more open to sharing things in my day as my own public reflective practice (like autoethnographic and narrative studies). Thirdly, I recently switched my blog from MovableType to WordPress, and use Twitter Tools–this allows me to have my daily Twitter feeds get automatically added to my blog (so I do not lose my thoughts if Twitter decides it wants to become a walled garden).
I here so many people argue for or against Twitter, that is is nice to here somebody share a rather humble explanation of how they use it. I like to see such examples, especially after hearing all the arguments.