Paul Klee, Twittering Machine, 1922"The 'Twittering Machine' is neither ironic or idealizing, but rather a product of the imagination, which Paul Klee's art affirms at every turn. Crank it up, and these strange, mechanical birds start to sing their hearts out against a vast, atmospheric wash backdrop that opens up a space beyond measure." -Fine Arts exam, California State University
Twitter as experiential art; conversation as creation: for those who have integrated Twitter into their lives, such claims are validated each time the connection is enabled.
Discussions continue about the value of this interactive and still evolving "social networking and micro-blogging service". In a previous post, I shared my initial reluctance to hop on yet another cyber bandwagon. Now I'd like to add some additional insights gleaned from other edubloggers.
Scott Schwister traces his "Twitter awakening" to an invitation from Carolyn Foote, who gently urged him to visit because "It's developed into a really fun and amazing little place." Scott took note of the incredible diversity of the Twitterverse, where you could learn about new apps, carry on a deep and rich conversation, shop for T-shirts, or invent a new poetic form.
In Twitter is my Village, presentations consultant Laura Athavale Fitton describes Twitter as a venue for becoming better acquainted with "a critical mass of interesting people". She emphasizes the socially connective function of this type of network rather than its professional applications.
A number of bloggers have been posting tips on how to increase the functionality of Twitter. Dave Fleet explains how to find people to follow, an essential step in building a unique, personal twitterverse. Wesley Fryer explains changes that make it easier to carry on Twitter conversations. Once connected, individuals find mentors, ask for help in locating information sources or plan collaborative projects.
Humor is an essential element, at least on my Twitter network. Brian Van Dyck offers a Twelve Step Program for those who slide into Twitter addiction and want to take back a part of their lives. Lisa Parisi blames her procrastination on the irresistible allure of Twittering.
The creators of Twitter have been promoting it as a useful tool in times of crisis.
"There have been raging wildfires and rumbling earthquakes inspiring avalanches of Twitter updates over the last few weeks [November 2007] out here on the West Coast of the US. In Tumultuous times, people turn to Twitter."Twitter even made a guest appearance on CSI, surely a sign of some measure of social cachet.
Twitter appeals to a large community of committed users. Whether it continues to refine its capabilities or yields to an even more sophisticated form of networking remains to be seen. But for now, Twitter is the social network of choice for a significant population of educational bloggers. It offers a "space beyond measure" in which to explore, connect and expand.
"Through space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; through thought I comprehend the world." -Blaise Pascal