I once tweeted an entire Steve Jobs press conference, 140 characters at a time, for over an hour to all of my followers. Oops! Did I stop to think that everyone might not be interested in the topic. Nope. Did I stop to think that some people get their tweets on their cell phones via SMS and I was sending them tons of text messages? Nope.
Well, many of my followers dropped me a tweet and let me know that my constant tweeting was a problem that day. I thought about a way to solve the problem and still give those that WANT to receive the tweets the option to do so. Here is my solution.
- I set up another Twitter account (schrock_bkchan) for tweeting meetings and conferences. I call it my Schrock Backchannel account.
- When I am going to be tweeting a meeting or conference sessions, I tweet in my regular "kathyschrock" Twitter account that I will be doing so, and also include the link to the schrock_bkchan account in the tweet.
- Users can choose to follow the alternate account if they are interested in the topic, and unfollow once the event is over.
There are more good practices for Twitter-using educators I would like to share.
- Put something in the bio area about being a teacher. I check the bio of everyone who follows me, and I sometimes block those that are not educators. My tweets are pretty much all educational in nature, and intended for a certain audience, and I try to keep the followers that fit that demographic.
- If you are going to be using Twitter, do not protect your tweets. Part of being a good Netizen is sharing your expertise with others. Someone may not necessarily want to follow you, but your great comments don't even show up in the Twitter search tool if you don't make your tweets public. (I often find great educators to follow when searching in the Twitter search tool.) Keep another Twitter account for personal stuff, and protect only those tweets.
- Don't feel upset if someone you follow is not following you. I have lots and lots of followers (thank you very much!), but I only follow about 160. No one can possibly follow 6000+ people and get anything else done! I know you cannot DM me if I do not follow you, and I apologize. But I check all the @responses and will respond back to you in a timely fashion. My Personal Learning Network is small, but good, and I often expand it as I see RT of those that I do not follow yet in a post by someone I follow. (Using Twitter effectively does take some practice!)