On Microblogging (with video)

Michelle already elaborated a bit on Microblogging in a follow-up from the MLA Webcast last week, but this great video from CommonCraft provides a good, short explanation of the most popular microblogging platform, Twitter:

I have a Twitter account, I sometimes update my Facebook status, and I have a Pownce account that I don’t use. I haven’t seen any applications of microblogging that struck me as particularly useful to libraries or medicine, but I’ve found they can be a good bit of fun.

Additional reading:

8 thoughts on “On Microblogging (with video)

  1. I still have a hard time understanding why anyone over the age of 17 would find twittering interesting or useful. Harrumph.

  2. Good to know I’m not alone in failing to see anything useful there, Mark. πŸ™‚

  3. I don’t find Twitter useful. I don’t see how just twittering alone is helpful.
    Because you can share documents, URLS and micro-blog your changes and updates, I do see where Pownce m-i-g-h-t be useful for groups who are doing project work. However Pownce was just released publicly in January and it has big issues with the IE. Time will tell.

    For example while working on the MLA Web 2.0 101 course, my co-instructor and I emailed each other our thoughts and mussings to our course that we were co-developing on the wiki. I think Pownce would have been very helpful. We could have posted the URL and then micro-blogged our thoughts. That way with a quick scroll of the mouse I would be able to see what she was thinking and why she did what she did. Instead I had to dig up each individual email. Possible, but it got to be a little time consuming if I forgot to save and file any of them.

  4. Michelle-

    In the circumstances you describe, how would Pownce be more useful/appropriate than Google Docs or Zoho?


  5. I’ve never used twitter, but I have a few comments based mostly on the CommonCraft video.

    1) The video states that asking “what are you doing?” is a question people ask to achieve a connection with the person allegedly doing something. Usually, I ask the question more as a greeting or conversation starter. Although, technically, it’d be “what’s up?” rather than “what are you doing?” At least, for me.

    2) The stereotype of a blog is that it is someone’s online diary. It becomes more difficult to argue that blogs can be more when microblogging is essential diary snippets.

    3) Most importantly, there’s not really a way for the smart alecks among us to respond to the microblogging. How can I make fun of your bowling score without leaving all my friends we don’t have in common confused?

    On the other hand, I don’t know about a library setting, but it could be useful in other settings. For instance, in an emergency situations, officials could give updates via microblogging. Airlines could use it to announce flight delays–in the rare instances when flight delays actually occur. News events could be microblogged, too.

    Of course, people may just want to have a little fun sending friends messages.

  6. Mark-

    1) I thought *I* was a smart-alec. That aside, you must be a Gen-X’er…’cause kids today don’t waste two syllables on the sentiment in question. They say: ‘sup?

    2) True, but it is, as you say, a stereotype. A blog isn’t an “online diary” any more than a book is an “English 19th-century romance novel.”

    Blogs can be purposed to serializing almost any kind of information…and so can microblogging platforms. I just can’t think of anything useful one can do with a microbloggging platform that might not be done more effectively with some other tool.

    3) No. No, you can’t. I’m not saying it is impossible, I’m saying that I forbid you to attempt it. Bad! BAD Mark for confusing people about bowling scores!

    But there are lots of other avenues that are well-suited for smart-alecry and am confident you’ll make good use of those.


  7. David,

    Call me a neat freak but I just don’t like people’s comments, thoughts, mussings, etc. to be within the
    document that I am working on.

    1. I am always worried that I will accidently forget to delete one of the many comments and it will make it into the “final” product. Embarrassing. Yes coloring the comments helps, but it is still a worry with me.

    2. Comments sometimes get in the way of the actual sentance structure, paragraphs or the document itself. While I like to see changes made in different colors, I find it a little jarring to read through the paragraph then all of sudden read the editor’s comments. This is more noticeable when you have more
    than 2 people working on a project.

    Google Docs allows you to put sticky notes on the document which is nice, but our work was done on a wiki.

    3. Google Docs does not allow you to share a wiki nor does Zoho. You can have multiple contributers but they make their comments on the actual document/wiki.

    4. It is just nice to have the link to the wiki or the actual document and then all of the comments and thoughts right below it. Of course in the case of a document or other file you would have to repost the new and improved version. So that is a hassel.

    I guess it is six of one half dozen another. If you want a nice comment chain to follow and don’t mind reposting the document then Pownce will be nice. If you are working on a wiki page that is not meant to be live it is definitely nice to have that link right there with the documentation.

    However if you don’t mind making notes within the document and you aren’t using a wiki, then Google Docs or Zoho is fine too.

  8. Hiya folks! I adore Twitter, and loathe the CommonCraft video about it. I commented on the CommonCraft site about the failings of the video. For me personally, what makes Twitter work or not is finding the right community. This is true for most social media – if you don’t find the right people, it doesn’t mean much for you. With Twitter, the folk I have found and what they bring to my life have become SO essential that I hardly ever use an RSS feed reader any more. They feed me what I most need. πŸ™‚

    Actually, I really hope to have a background slideshow at MLA about why I love Twitter. πŸ™‚