There was a bit of confusion when I last posted about the MLA Twitter Tutorial, people were all excited and started trying to do the tutorial right away even though it wasn’t live yet. The wait is over, the tutorial is now open. Go to http://mlatwitter2012.tumblr.com/ and watch the videos, complete the tutorial, tweet, and learn something new while getting a free drink ticket to the MLA Tweet Up.
(One thing to note, most of the videos are on YouTube, so if it is blocked you will have to watch them at home.)
Each year the discussion on Twitter has grown considerably. A lot of the pre-conference chatter is about events people would like to attend or questions about the meeting. During the meeting people tweet interesting points during a presentation, pose questions back and forth among the tweeters, or just tweet in general to communicate. This kind of discussion is often called the “back channel.” The tutorial has some great articles for people to learn about things like the back channel, live tweeting best practices, and a guidebook on Twitter.
A few years ago when Twitter came out, I remember I mentioned I couldn’t think of how Twitter would be used professionally in medical librarianship. Now I use it daily. I have a program that is running in the background (just like my email program) that pops a message box up when I get a tweet (again just like my email). I have used it to answer reference questions, follow speakers/conferences, answer tech questions, and just share information.
It might take a bit of time to figure out your “voice” and know your work flow to see how it naturally fits into the way you communicate. Take a look at this image of “The Four Stages of ‘Getting’ Twitter” and you can see how it is an evolution as to how it can fit into your life.