Friday, 17 April 2009

Twitter Race for 1 Million Followers

I watched with interest the twitter race for the first person to have 1 million followers. There become a race between many celeb/webrities and I quickly watched with interest the race between CNN news network and Ashton Kutcher (a tv and movie star - I like to refer to him as Mr Demi Moore). I didn't follow at first and just watched lurking in the background while he did Live UStream TV to drum up followers... when I started listening to some of his reasons I actually tended to agree... in this world of web2.0 and instant news it is us the public that are the newsmakers, after all this is what we are teaching our students, about having authentic audiences and using social networking to communicate. I also liked that he pledged to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to the help fight malaria campaign.

I like this comment on Brian Solis' Blog "We participate on social networks to express ourselves and share a piece of who we are in the real world, online, to forge relationships with people we respect, trust, and admire and it inspires us to share, learn, and grow together. With every tweet and update, we reveal a bit of what we stand for and what moves us, forming a unique social graph that contextually connects us to others in an irreproducible network. It’s unique to each one of us, and it’s both empowering and powerful.We become media.We become influencers." I also agree that "We’re shifting into a rapid-fire culture that moves at Twitter time" and that "Twitter and the statusphere have become our attention dashboards". I only wish I had been so eloquent to write in this way... hence the copy & paste.
So how do you choose to follow? I personally have a small following (at present it is just under 200) and I follow 135 people. I do not follow everyone that follows me, and often I block people that do follow me too. I ideally only want to follow people that are in education, that I can learn and make connections with. I value the connections that I make from people from all over the world in education and find useful links daily through using my twitter network.
In my "real world" connections many of my colleagues and friends are not "into twitter", the profile of this social networking tool is definately being raised; my friends may raise eyebrows at my "virtual" networking connections, however I feel I'm at the pulse of knowing what's new and what's happening! I heart twitter!


Jacqui Sharp said...

Hi Justine, I was watching the twitter race as well and I have mixed feelings about it, in some ways it was like a popularity race especially when I heard Britney was pushing her way in as well. Plus it is big news that Oprah is sending her first tweet on her show. I am very new to Twitter, and I love using it as a Professional Learning Network (PLN), but particularly in the last 2 days I am getting all these random followings (that I have blocked)from people who have absolutely nothing in common with me, they are just trying to push up their following rate! I think I agree with the call for Twitter to hide the follower numbers and we can use the application for what it was originally designed for a social networking tool!

Justine said...

Yes Jacqui I agree I'd like to see people not fixated with how many in their flock and work on making connections that are more meaningful. As educators I think we are good at seeing the benefits of a tool like twitter to enrich our own learning, and whilst I also tweet random daily life I get the most out of the learning connections. If Twitter is to hide the numbers I'd still like to be able to be selective about who follows me. I more often than not block people that do not write a bio or are not in education circles.

Anonymous said...

I am relatively new to Twitter and am very much enjoying all of its benefits. I am passionate about Education and enjoy the opportunity to follow the people who are on the cutting edge of technology, creativity and innovation. As a Kiwi living abroad, it is a great way to stay connected with what is happening within New Zealand Education circles as well as keeping current with what is happening here in the UK.
I was happy to join Twitter mainly because of the ability to BLOCK access to the 'randoms'. I believe that it is a very important tool within any social networking site!
In regard to the Ashton Kutcher vs CNN race, I believe Ashton wanted to make a statement about the changes we are seeing in social media and the ability that one person has to broadcast to such mass numbers. He has made many comments about how we are seeing a dramatic shift between people accessing traditional news media outlets compared with social media outlets.
I am excited about the prospect of people accessing unfiltered/uncensored media. Perhaps people will now start to see what is really going on around the world rather than the hand picked information that is selected by the powers that be.