Sunday, 24 July 2011

James: Twitter; facilitating or procrastinating?

Twitter is seen by some as a half way house between the informal social network of facebook and the work dominated networking device LinkedIn. A playful mix of communication and chatter.

However, despite the power of the network for spreading the word and connecting people from all over the world is it really used to its full potential? Companies use it to 'let you know what is going on' but really just pushing their latest stuff and people just put on mindless chatter such as what they had for breakfast. I must admit I, as a twit, do exactly the same. I started twitter to plug my own blog, but it has now spiralled off to be my own microblog as they all love to call it. It's good for those moments when you think of something clever to say but there is no one around to say it to. Yet I also see it as a universal level playing field to talk to people, I've used it at times to ask for tips on science journalism from people I look up to. Whether 'science blogging' is 'science journalism' is a big question for another time, so back to twitter.

The thing that has me thinking is that if there is this level playing field what about getting answers from it? The ultimate meeting of minds. And thanks to twitter I find I am not the only one thinking this, indeed it lead me to this article . . . here.

So is it a tool who's true power we are on the verge of unlocking or will it stay as I explained it to a friend the other day as 'the best tool for procrastinating your way through the internet since stumbleupon'?


RockA said...

Hey, I wanted to read the article, but I think the link is not working

Ed Darnbrough said...

Thanks for pointing that out, now the link is fixed!

Bruce Hood said...

I have written about Twitter in my new book as a powerful social networking tool. Analysis of tweets have shown both homophilly (people tend to group together) as well as a limited number of regular communications which tends to cluster around the famous Dunbar number of 150. In other words, we tend to have a limited capacity for attending to others. That said, I think that Twitter can potentially lead to polarizing of opinion as people tend to become more extreme in their opinions when they are supported by followers.

Ed Darnbrough said...

I can follow your idea of polarizing in views towards ideals. However, in the form I was pondering, people using twitter as a scientific sounding board, I would hope that would not be the case. More a meeting of minds, would be my preference away from links to further procrastination. Thank you for your in put Bruce it is an interesting, although troublesome, idea of polarizing opinion.

Social Network said...

Thank you for the valuable information on Social Network Analysis specially on twitter