There’s something to be said about Twitter. Even though many people don’t get it, they know what it is. You may not really understand its purpose, but you know that people out there are using it and what they are doing on it.
When I first joined twitter, it was mostly because I thought I had found a venue through which I could share my random thoughts of the day, random things that I see, basically anything going on in my day. At the time, my cousin had told me she blocked me on Facebook because I had spammed the shit out of my news feed. I figured, by joining Twitter, I could spam twitter instead of Facebook. PERFECT!
My twitter is now full of random thoughts…but also responses to articles and communication from people I’ve never met. It’s kinda nice to be able to contact people who I’ve never met before and share ideas. It’s interesting that this article points out the cross-cultural exchange, especially over the Trending Topics.
The openness of Twitter is what makes me really enjoy it – I am able to find people with similar interests, see what they are talking about and who they are following and then engage them in conversation online. I also find it a great way to exchange ideas with other librarians and MLIS students. It’s great for community building.
However, the community being built on twitter is unlike anything that can be built in a shared physical space. The exchange of ideas is purely based on the written word – sometimes, communities can be better served by physically being in the same place because of the subtle ways that our bodies communicate and express ideas. I find the concept of rebuilding community online to be extremely fascinating, but I worry that people are placing too much emphasis on replacing real space communities with virtual communities. I’ve often been guilty of this and it’s unfortunate.