Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘twitter

About a week ago I ignored (yet again) another small deluge of demands that I give my Twitter handle to someone else.

I ignored and blocked the noise because I have found those strategies to be effective against people who do not listen or read.

One such person declared that someone else deserved my Twitter handle because I had fewer followers than them.

I do not play that number game because I prevent people from following me by blocking them. I used to have to estimate how many until this week. I discovered that the latest version of the Twitter app shows my block count — it is over 33K.

I have blocked bots, spammers, and people who mistake me for someone else. I go on a blocking binge every month or so. This might seem like a foolish thing to do. But if I believe in curating my account as an educator, I need to practice what I preach.

I have been on Twitter since January 2007 and have the handle @ashley. Barely a week goes by without someone begging, asking, or demanding I give them that username.

The latest “request” was somewhat ironic given that I had just reflected on etiquette and its link to netiquette.

Instead of watching the video and reading the reflection about etiquette and netiquette (which are linked by the common thread of respect) a Twitter user and his/her fans demanded I give up my username.

I am not giving my handle away. I have had it since almost the beginning of Twitter. I am also not responding to the rudeness of the exchanges. Don’t take my word for it, see one user’s remarks:

My username, account, and stand are worth more than money.

It is about civility and empathy, which seems to be in short supply among some on Twitter. Perhaps they might start with some emotional intelligence.

I concur with the tweet above.

Many cannot take critique and criticism. Teachers seem to have thinner skin perhaps because they equate being nurturing with always having something positive to say.

I am not against being positive. I am against providing feedback masked by so much fluff that critical messaging gets lost.

Like most things in life, we ought to strive for balance. Right now it is tipped too far on “plaudits and platitudes” and we need a critical shift. This is not a call to be nasty; it is a call to be honest with ourselves.

The Washington Post’s most recent slogan is Democracy Dies in Darkness. I was surprised to learn it came before the Trump era.
 

 
After experiencing and leading hashtagged discussions on Twitter, I have my own: Community dies with neglect. The runner-up is: Event promoters abuse hashtags.

Some might say that online discussions have limited lifespans or that they go through phases. I say some die before their time and decay in plain sight. And that is tragic and ugly.

 
The Purge is a horror movie. This week it is also how the Twitterverse might describe the drop in most users’ followers.

According to this TNW article, the Twitter purge removed locked accounts. The accounts were locked because they were abandoned, hijacked, and/or exhibited spammy behaviour.

locked accounts aren’t bot accounts necessarily — at one point, they were created and operated by a real person. Accounts on Twitter are locked when they begin to display spammy behavior, especially if it’s in opposition to how the account usually behaves. That includes a sudden increase in tweets with multiple unsolicited mentions, a high number of accounts blocking the account, and/or tweets with misleading links.

Business entities and celebrities might be upset about follower losses in the six or seven-figure range. Even though I “lost” about 600 “followers”, I am not upset because I regularly block and cull followers.

Twitter did me a favour by removing a malignant burden I did not know I was carrying. In doing so, it did something good in the battle against those that use Twitter for harm.

Tags: ,

This tweet and the PEW article caught my eye — about two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are shared by Twitter bots instead of actual people.

According to the article, Twitter bots are “accounts that can post content or interact with other users in an automated way and without direct human input”.

If I automate the posting of one daily reflection from my blog to Twitter and schedule other education-relevant articles with Buffer, is my human behaviour bot-like?

Given the qualifier “without direct human input”, I think not. Then again, I only had to set up the WordPress to Twitter process once and the buffering is regulated by an online tool instead of me.

It is difficult to have clear-cut definitions. We are sometimes not one the other, but both. We are precursor cyborgs, like it or not.

For me reading some Facebook (FB) group posts is like feeding a morbid habit of watching train wrecks.

I can see them coming because they are guaranteed. The conversations (if they can be called that) are unpleasant, but I plow through anyway. Why? All for the single pearl in the mud trampled by swine.
 

 
By comparing what I do and read in FB and Twitter, I realise that the issue is granular control. I can choose who I follow on Twitter. I can only choose which groups I join in FB.

I can even block people in Twitter so that I curate the right kind of followers. This is not the same as muting people on FB as the control is finer and deeper in Twitter.

It is strange that the more verbose FB provides less granularity of control while the shorter form Twitter provides more. This starts to make sense if you buy in to this description: FB is where you hang out with family or friends. Twitter is where you learn from strangers. It makes sense to have locks on your front door, but not on the ones inside.

But this is where the description falls apart. FB groups are full of strangers who have a lot to say with very little sense. You need only examine any FB interest group with the lens of granularity to realise how this leads to breadth instead of depth.

By breadth I mean the reach that large FB groups have in transmitting information. By lack of depth I mean unsubstantiated rumour, baseless information, or knowledge built on weak foundations.


Twitter is not immune from these, of course. But you can choose who to follow and you can even choose who follows you. You can go for quality, not just quantity, and by doing so choose depth over breadth. As you reputation grows over time, you might develop reach and breadth.

Developing depth over breadth is a more responsible approach. I wonder if this is modelled and taught in digital and media literacy modules. If this is not, then learners just go with the flow of popularity contests that favour breadth over depth.


http://edublogawards.com/files/2012/11/finalistlifetime-1lds82x.png
http://edublogawards.com/2010awards/best-elearning-corporate-education-edublog-2010/

Click to see all the nominees!

QR code


Get a mobile QR code app to figure out what this means!

Archives

Usage policy

%d bloggers like this: