Friday, December 5, 2008

14 Days of Twitter Part One: “I Hate Twitter”

Image Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/love-hate.jpg
The back story: I teach a course on social media & web2.0 (called Social Networking & Business http://sixdegrees.wikidot.com). For the first time this semester I required students to use Twitter. I borrowed the idea of “14 Days of Twitter” from Karen Miller Russell. She wrote about “48 Hours of Twitter” http://snipr.com/756jg on her blog. (Yes, I’m an overachiever. 48 hours just wasn’t enough.)

I used class time to have students sign up for Twitter accounts (only 1 already had an account) and then we walked through the process of following all the other students. They spent a little time learning about direct messages, @replies, and having fun writing silly things. They also selected companies and individuals to follow using this excellent list of Twitter accounts http://snipr.com/757lk. (For those interested, the complete “lab” is available here: http://sixdegrees.wikidot.com/14twitter)
I walked into class after 14 days of my students using Twitter excited to hear what students thought. I started the discussion asking for quick reactions. The first student to raise his hand (we’ll call him “T”) said “I hate Twitter”. Wow. Where do you go from there?

Reaction 1: “I just don’t get it”
“If you don't need to get out of jail and don't witness an accident or catastrophy, what is the point about Twitter?” Day 1 from “J”

“still not fond of this site Day 1 from “T”

“so how many hours a day do you think ppl spend tweeting?” Day 1 from “T

“still not excited about Twitter” Day 1 from “T”

“Oh god this twitter thing is really hard” Day 3 from “D”

“I hate this twitter thing, but it would be nice for a political debate: keep all answers to 140 characters or less!” Day 10 from “F”

“I do not still like twitter...it is a little bit bothering me.” Day 13 from “G”

“Last day of tweeting. I can't wait to go back to the normal blogging. Missed the weekly blog posts.” Day 14 from “O”
Reaction 2: “This is hard!”
“I thought it would be breeze posting 3 tweets a day but it's starting to get difficult. How do i get through the remaining time?” Day 4 from “Y”

“@Y I also think the same. This is an alternative Facebook and it's beginning to wear me down posting updates” Day 4 from “B”

“I think twitter is the shorter, faster, easier version blog, but sometimes disturbing.” Day 5 from “R”

“well, It is pretty tough to post 3 comments everyday, isn't it?” Day 10 from “G”
Reaction 3: 140 characters, Really?
“I mourn the day when people form their political opinions around simplistic 140-character Tweets.” Day 14 from “B”

“Next, we need to have debates over chat, IM, or even twitter, that way the message is short, clear and easy to ignore. Day 7 from “F”

“Blaming myself for enjoying developping my thoughts in more than 140 characters. Do u think a blogpost shouldn't exceed 2 tweets?” Day 9 from “L”
Reaction 4: I can’t get this thing to work!
“I cant get my phone to work with this thing!” Day 5 from “B”

“T tried to text message twitter as a post but failed. I need figure this out again. Day 12 from “T”

“was trying to fix twitter on my phone without any success” Day 2 from “Y”

“need to set up the text messaging option for twitter” Day 12 from “N”

“this twitteriffic client is pretty glitchy” Day 5 from “X”

“the twitter app on the iPhone keeps crashing... how frustratinggg Day 9 from “F”
Have something to add? Comments welcomed. Want to hear more? This is one of a pair of posts. The other (will be) titled “14 Days of Twitter Part Two: I Love Twitter” and will include a summary and plans for next semester. Stay tuned.

7 comments:

Alan A. Lew said...

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

I think that I, too, would be a bit challenged to posting three times a day, everyday, for two weeks. Some days that is easy, other days I am just too busy. However, from your assignment instructions, it sounded like they were doing this in place of a weekly blog (which is something that I have my students do, as well using ning.com). So maybe it was the daily requirement that was one of the problems, as once a week is more flexible.

I have not yet used Twitter in a class, though I have considered it. I have heard/known of a lot of people who just can not understand Twitter. And these are people who are know technology. For me, I like Twitter, but I do not care for Facebook at all, even though I have quite few contacts on it. Sounds like fertile ground for a research project.

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