While Greg Schwartz re-examines his Twitterness, I’m finding that my Twitter groove is starting to flow again (maybe all of this stuff comes and goes in cycles). I’m figuring out the whole timing thing by not logging onto Twitter while researching. When I’m doing mindless tasks (like approving invoices, data entry), I’ll jump on to say hi, but as soon as I get a research request, off it goes. It seems to be working rather well.
I’m also in the process of denying most requests to follow me on Twitter. Before you call me pompous or narcissistic, hear me out. You see, I’m pretty new at this online social networking thing (I don’t do MySpace, Facebook, altghough I have been on Flickr for a while and my blog has been around for a bit too) and have just begun to understand the craziness at its core.
I’ve had some Twitter issues in the past where some followers didn’t understand me and accused me of being mean to them. What they didn’t get (and what everyone else did) was that I was joking, because that is what we librarians do in Twitter. You can’t hold a serious conversation with colleagues in 140 characters with all of your other Twitter followers “looking” on. It just doesn’t work that way.
So, I began the process of blocking those that found me “offensive” as well as those I thought might get “offended” about other stuff that I Tweet about in the future. I also made the choice to only accept Twitter follower requests of those that I have actually met in person at some point in my career or have had a few e-mail or phone conversations with.
The result is that for every 50 people I deny, I accept 1. What I’m finding is that this totally works for me. Not only do I feel a lot more comfortable in Twitter with my friends, but it cuts down on the possibility that I will be following too many people and get burnt out quicker. Win Win Win.
I’m going to do the same thing for my Flickr account, although I won’t be blocking anyone. I’m just going to mark followers as friends and/or family and work from there. Barbie has wanted me to do this for a while and it’s about time I did it.
I’ve learned more about friendship, collegial bantering, and online social networking choices in the past month, and it hasn’t been easy. I’ve also learned that if I am going to speak my mind and have an opinion outside of this blog, I’m still not going to hold back. I’m just going to make sure that certain people are listening.