Why wouldn't you use Twitter?!
I've only been actively participating on Twitter for 4-5 months now. I tweet (as @stickylearning) mainly about learning related topics and follow people who also have learning as their main focus. I'm also interested in how design thinking impacts upon learning and the use of visuals to communicate ideas and knowledge.
In the few months that I've been active on Twitter I have been exposed to more ideas from more sources than in whole years previously. The people I follow find links to articles and research that I'd never come across, I can't always find time to read it on the spot so I save many links to my Delicious page (social bookmarking site) for later (and to provide others with access to all the links and sites I've found interesting).
Twitter keeps me current. I can go to university and complete a course, but after a VERY short while that knowledge is dated. I could attend workshops, but they take time and cost money. Twitter is free, always available and keeps you up to date with the very latest ideas. Twitter makes me better at my job.
How I've used Twitter
I began by searching for people tweeting on the topics that interest me, then I followed some of these (generally those with a higher follower to following ratio - I find these people have produced the best links and most interesting tweets). I also began tweeting about things that interested me, though not always strictly work-related, Twitter is inherently social, that's its attractiveness, it is important to be a person not just a string of tweets!
I now have just over 400 followers of my tweets. OK on the scale of many others on Twitter this is quite small, but it's not really the point. I share articles and thoughts on learning that I hope others will find worthwhile, in return I'm learning heaps!
Twitter is a place where people share
There is little "that's mine!" on Twitter. Sure it's good etiquette to acknowledge the person who originated a Tweet if you then Retweet their Tweet. However Twitter overall is a place where the web's knowledge and content is shared. I've written about this previously in my post, "The Village of Twitter", where I wrote of how I saw Twitter chat and socialising as somewhat like you'd find in a village. Twitter helps connect people.
My Top 25 Twitterers for Learning
Not that easy to do I now realise!! But there are some whose Tweets I always read and mostly follow links on. I also retweet these people's tweets the most. So here goes - in no particular order! (I'm sure I've missed someone out)
I'd love to be able to participate in this online chat more often, but work and family commitments keep me away! However, it is excellent. Each Thursday everning (US time)/Friday morning (Australian time) an informal group of learning twitterers participate in a discussion on twitter under the hashtag #lrnchat. The discussion is moderated and generally follows a set of 3-4 questions around a weekly topic. Anyone can introduce themselves and participate. If you miss the chat a full transcript of the chat is available online.
It's worth twittering just for this!