I am a big fan of Twitter. I learn more from Twitter than I do from any other staff development or conference I have ever been to. Twitter also is a great place to make connections. I now feel I have a broad range of “Tweeps” out there that are able to help me out when I need it. Nobody has the ability to know everything. Twitter grants me access to people all over the world that each have an abundance of knowledge in specific fields. If I don’t know, all I have to do is ask.
Once you begin to feel comfortable with Twitter itself, you can spread your wings a little more involved and become involved in Twitter chats. For those that don’t know, this is a time set aside for anyone on Twitter to join in on conversations based on a foundation of questions set by a person or group. You use a hashtag to follow along and interact with the conversation. For instance, I am involved in the #TXed chat group. The chat is from 8:30 – 9:30 PM CST every Wednesday night. Questions are posted every few minutes. You post a comment, including the hashtag, and then start chatting with others that are posting comments as well. It is a great way to get new ideas and meet new friends along the way.
To learn more about how to follow along with a chat using Twitter.com, check out these Twitter Chat Tips. It will give you some tips and tricks to help you get started.
As you become more and more involved in chatting and Twitter in general, you will realize that you want more from just what Twitter.com has to offer you. TweetDeck is a great alternative for you. TweetDeck allows you to create additional columns built specifically to do things like follow a certain person or hashtag. For instance, I have a column that posts only tweets that have the hashtag #TXed in it. Then when we chat I do not have to weed through all tweets or do a special search through Twitter.com. I simply need to focus my attention on that column. Two other cheat sheets have been created to help you get started and understand TweetDeck: TweetDeck Getting Started and TweeDeck Column Options will give you a taste of what TweetDeck can do and get you up and running in no time.
I hope to see you soon on Twitter. Make sure to give me a follow, @pwagnerlcisd, and ask any questions you think I can help you with. It is possible I will know, but more possible I will know somebody else that can help you even more!