At the NEIT2010 conference, a few people asked me about twitter – most specifically, why Twitter? It’s something I get asked frequently, and with the help of the amazing @InfoWitch (aka Karyn Silverman) I was able to give people the following (brief) explanation:
It’s better than asking a question via e-mail or text because with those, you need to know to whom to send your query, ditto with instant messaging. It’s also a great way to find links, follow the thoughts of thinkers/gurus, and learn what’s new in your field of interest.
I have to say, twitter’s made me look like a rock start twice in the past 12 months. The first time, our Head of School asked me for help finding a cartoon that had appeared in the Wilson Library Bulletin in 1971. Easy, right? After looking through CUFTS to find which databases might be of use (none), I started to think big – and tweeted a request for anyone who had access. @franceyharris to the rescue! Within a week the issue had been retrieved from deep storage and a .pdf copy had been e-mailed. My Head of School was thrilled and amazed. TOTAL WIN!!
Then there was yesterday. @wsstephens wanted to buy a gift for her husband… but it’s nowhere to be purchased. I found a copy in Brooklyn and @dmcordell thought she found a copy in Glens Falls. Today, there’s a copy ready to ship to Wendy in time for Christmas (I’m also throwing in a copy Around the World with Mark Twain, written by my uncle, and inscribed to the lucky giftee!). Another TOTAL WIN!
Does that convince you of the power of Twitter? The Daring Librarian has created two great posters on Twitter: The Art of the Follow and Twitter Basics (there’s also a post on Listening, Learning and Leading, where Gwyenth lists some of those she follows and includes advice from others). My advice is to take some time during this holiday season, sit down with a glass of eggnog/glogg/mulled cider and play!