The point of all this is that it is not the existence of knowledge but the convergence and cross-pollination of knowledge that drives progress.
Now, the challenge with the internet is that it’s a medium increasingly well-tailored for helping us find more of what we know we’re looking for, but increasingly poorly suited to helping us discover what we don’t yet know exists and thus don’t yet care to be interested in.
So how do we discover what we don’t yet know we’re interested in and take an interest in what doesn’t appear to be “useful”?
Seems to me that reading widely (perhaps with the help of your local library? ;)) is a good step in the direction of finding things you don’t yet know you’re interested in. Social media and internet sources of information can be quite useful in this way as well.
Few things are more explicitly ephemeral than a Tweet. Yet it’s precisely this kind of ephemeral communication – a comment, a status update, sharing or disseminating a piece of media – that lies at the heart of much of modern history as it unfolds. It’s also a vital contemporary historical record that, unless we’re careful, we risk losing almost before we’ve been able to gauge its importance.
But what I wonder is: what can we do about it?
Helpful for anyone just starting out with Twitter. :)
One of the characteristics of the modern media age — at least for anyone who uses the web and social media a lot — is that we are surrounded by vast clouds of rapidly changing information, whether it’s blog posts or news stories or Twitter and Facebook updates. That’s great if you like real-time content, but there is a not-so-hidden flaw — namely, that you can’t step into the same stream twice, as Heraclitus put it. In other words, much of that information may (and probably will) disappear as new information replaces it, and small pieces of history wind up getting lost. According to a recent study, which looked at links shared through Twitter about news events like the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East, this could be turning into a substantial problem.
Each social network comes with its own quirks, and people make little mistakes all the time. This doesn’t really matter too much for a personal account, but for an organisation’s account it’s more important to get it right and make the most of the opportunity Twitter presents. With this in mind, here’s 3 surprisingly common mistakes institutions and individuals make (even experienced Twitter users) because of a lack of in-depth understanding of Twitter’s quirks. This is how to avoid no-can-do DMs, follower-excluding @ replies, and chaos-causing hashtags.
1. Asking for people to DM you
2. Excluding most of your followers with an @ reply
3. Creating a hashtag which is already in use
Great tips—I see #2 with painful frequency.
#libchat gets mentioned. :) I participate when I can, which hasn’t been very often lately…
If you’re new to Twitter, or if you’re not sure if you even want to give it a try, participating (or even just observing) a tweetchat is one of the best ways to see the professional possibilities that Twitter offers.
My how-to-tumble for libraries and librarians! Nice to see it post while I sit next to Patience and Fortitude with my morning coffee in New York.
Maximize your tweets [infographic]
I would note that every account is different. I’m not sure what is encompassed in “engagement” since I don’t want to give my info in order to download the full report, but for my library twitter account, our worst day for retweets is Friday, not Wednesday/Thursday.
Also, personally, I hate seeing tweets with “please retweet!” in them. You shouldn’t have to beg people to share your info—it should be interesting/useful enough that they *want* to share it. But that’s just me personally. :)
How Much Data Is Created Every Minute? [INFOGRAPHIC]
This post illustrates some of the downsides of Twitter (and social media in general), particularly when there are disagreements between participants about what is acceptable behavior. And text can leave a lot to be desired in terms of conveying intended meaning and emoticons and LOLs only do so much.
Personally, I’m pretty careful about what I say when it’s not directly work-related because I put my Twitter handle on my resume and I don’t want stuff I said on the internet to be the reason I’m not considered for a job. (Particularly since I am actively searching for a new position right now—only three more months until my contract ends!)
As Clay Shirky once observed, “There’s no such thing as information overload — only filter failure.”
My take? “Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what’s important.” It’s a choice.
Perhaps said another way, information overload is a symptom of our inability to focus on what’s truly important or relevant to who we are as individuals, professionals, and as human beings. But then again, maybe that’s the problem."
My trouble when it comes to library-related information is balancing between the stuff that’s pertinent to my current job and the stuff that’s pertinent to libraries generally. Now that my contract is ending, I feel I have to be aware of the breadth of topics out there since I don’t know yet where I’ll end up after this. (And yes, it is very overwhelming.)
A few great pointers especially for those starting out on Twitter (e.g. upload a picture!).
User Activity: Comparison of Social Networking Sites [infographic]
1) Launching a Private Social Media Account
2) Having a Disproportionate Follower:Following Ratio
3) Writing Updates That Are Too Long
4) The Airing of Grievances
5) Talking Smack About Competitors
6) Making Off-Color Comments
7) Publicly Solving Customer Service Issues
8) Hijacking Hashtags
9) Piling Your Tweets With Too Many Hashtags
10) Insulting Your Customer Base
11) “Targeting” Poorly With Automation
12) Posting WAY Too Frequently
13) Retweeting Instead of Generating Original Content
I have two comments:
2) My library cannot possibly follow as many people as follow us (we have nearly 13,000 followers and there’s concerns about following being taken as endorsement… we don’t presently have a policy, so I play it very safe in who that account follows.)
12) The example on this one isn’t very good.