D’OH – I Forgot Too!

I am sure many other Twitter users have already defined what I am calling the Twitter Effect (there is, in fact, a Facebook page called The Twitter Effect). Even though I am professionally trained to read and evaluate what others have said before I say what I want to say on a topic (in academia we call this a literature review), I am going to skip that step right now; these definitions are irrelevant to my point, anyway.  I’ll engage in some grounded theory instead, and offer this up as a personalized definition of  my own Twitter Effect.

My own Twitter Effect is characterized by some — no, all — of the following:

  1. Like @injenuity, I sometimes forget I have a blog! I am not posting as often on this here blog, and the posts I have written seem less — well, less ________________.  Just less.
  2. Because I receive Twitter feeds from people I am trying to learn from (I carefully select the people I follow to avoid Twitter Litter), I sometimes feel like I might miss out on something important if I don’t check Twitter at least three times a day. The sky could be falling and if I miss Chicken Little’s tweet at 3:01 informing me of this news, I might not otherwise find out! This is perhaps the only negative experience of my Twitter Effect, and, to be fair, it’s totally self-induced.
  3. I no longer need to read many of my RSS feeds because I get them through Twitter; by the time I remember to check my RSS feeds, I’ve already seen most of the posts. However, because of #2 above, I am keeping my RSS feeds; they help control my anxiety about potentially missing something.
  4. I am continually amazed by what a good source of learning Twitter can be, which is why I keep using it so diligently.  It helps me scan key publications easily (example, The Chronicle of Higher Ed); it keeps me connected to certain goings-on in conferences that I can’t attend in person; I get to hear multiple perspectives on any given topic that might otherwise not come together in any organized space; and I get to connect with people I might otherwise never have known.
  5. I am also  continually amazed by what some of my good sources of learning will tweet on Twitter — many of my Twitter superstars are actually humans with sick kids, pear trees, and great recipes to share. That’s cool! I like that they are human and care about whether or not their favorite football team wins in addition to whether or not their students are learning or their university gets its needed funding.
  6. Finally, as I’ve been diligently working at living an integrated life instead of a life in silos, I have found support with Twitter. I follow organizations and people who are in my professional realms, I follow my yoga studio, I follow my local farmer’s market, I follow friends, and I search and follow specific topics that are of interest to me.

My own Twitter Effect is neither bad, nor good. My own Twitter Effect just is, and I’m ok with it, even though I sometimes forget that I have a blog. (And a kid. And a husband. And a dog. And 2 cats. And a class to teach. And a paper to write. And dinner to cook. And  … ok, ok,  just kidding. Twitter humor, people. Twitter humor.)


3 thoughts on “D’OH – I Forgot Too!

  1. I think Chris Brogan recently deacribed Twitter in much the same way as I think of it. twitter is like a stream, and when you want, you go swimming into it, and when you don’t, you don’t. It’s not necessary to be in it all the time, 24/7, because thats a task that is beyond human comprehension anyway.

    Another metaphor I use is to think of it like television. You can keep it running in a desktop app in the bavkground and just glance at it now and then, sorta like a TV in the corner with CNN on all day.

  2. A few thoughts on my personal Twitter Effect:

    To #3: I will sometimes visit Prattlenog via my blogroll to your website, but since you have linked your blog posts to Twitter, that’s often how I get here these days 🙂


    Every so often I’ll tweet something and think “Shoot, I could have expounded on that and gotten a blog post out of it.” Since my goal is to update my blog daily, I’m always on the look out for material to fill those not-so exciting gym/work/dinner/internet/tv days and wasting good material on a twitter post is frustrating.


    During the waking hours I like to have TweetDeck update me to new tweets every 15-30 minutes via a short vibration on my phone. Nothing ensures that I’ll ignore the entire stream like seeing that I have +40 new tweets (I don’t know when 40 became the magic “groan” volume…). I glance at the stream, and if I’m busy I don’t look at most links, but I feel like I am doing due diligence and making a concious decision to ignore the tweets after browsing through them.


    For all of the junk that I breeze by in the twitterstream, there is a lovely amount of new ideas, interesting viewpoints and amusing entertainments.

  3. I think I have better conversations in blogs than in Twitter; in Twitter I often lose the thread of conversation and because the number of characters is limited, the conversations can’t be as “deep” — and so maybe Twitter is an entry point into a conversation (or an announcement of a conversation) that happens elsewhere.

    I need to start using TweetDeck – HootSuite isn’t doing it for me. Thanks for the reminder!

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