February 21, 2008


Everyone participating in hcplc2.0 should be familiar with blogs and blogging now - how many people are sharing their ideas and interests online. So I want to write about something that involves sharing even more personal information - microblogging. This means using online sites to send a small amount of information at a time. The most well known of the microblogging web 2.0 sites is Twitter.

People use Twitter to send out messages of only 140 characters. You can say anything you like, but most people are answering the question "What are you doing now?". Some people detail their lives throughout the day to let their friends know what they are up to, others post useful URLs, some use it to market their brand, and some people use it to discuss a conference session - while still in the session! People can twit by posting online or by using their cell phone to text message to Twitter. There is even a Firefox browser Extension called TwitBin. Webware has a very good introductory Guide to Twitter here.

I think that people tend to either love or hate Twitter. I have not done a lot of posting to it, since I prefer to network in Facebook or Library2.0 Ning and also post to my blogs. There does not seem to be a lot of time left over for Twittering! My twitters can be read here. You can use this twitter search engine to look for other librarians who twit. I recommend looking at these "tweets" to get a better idea about what twitter is.

However, Twitter can also be used by libraries to give instant news and updates- for example the Missouri River Regional Library posts about changes to bookmobile routes and about library closings due to severe weather. Other libraries using Twitter include: Boscobel Public Library, Lester Public Library, and Yale Science Libraries. The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County has a twitter feed of literature quotes from the first line of novels.

For more information, I recommend Ellyssa Kroski's (iLibrarian) excellent post, called "A Guide to Twitter in Libraries".

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