Monday, January 16, 2012

Revisiting Twitter

I've been working with the IRC Twitter account since early November; it's time to revisit and evaluate early implementation. Web services added a Twitter link to the IRC web site providing access to the account, widgets have been successfully added to the IRC blog, and 'follows' added a variety of links to other university accounts.  It has been easier than anticipated to find tweetable topics to routinely promote the IRC and keep the account active, in part due to accounts chosen to follow that relate to IRC mission and vision. Two options recently investigated for account support are embedded tweets and lists.
Twitter updated their platform in December making the embed option more viable to users. It's a relatively simple process; choose a tweet to embed > select open to view additional options >  click on embed this tweet > choose an embed code. It's possible to preselect tweet position or "control position and text wrapping on the page" by using the alignment option. I embedded and IRC tweet to the IRC blog for holiday hours using the  html code provided in conjunction with Bloggers html option (see below):
The link works as advertised, users read the embedded tweet and can easily access the original  Twitter account. At this point, I am more apt to promote a blog post on Twitter than a tweet on a blog so its use is somewhat limited. On the plus side, this feature promotes proper citing of Twitter. Authors are able to quote tweets, highlight specific topics for readers, and work to expand readership to Twitter from a number of platforms. For more about embedding Twitter:

I've started to explore and use Twitter lists and must confess it warms my librarian's heart to be able to organize lists. Beyond the simple task of categorizing, lists provide me with the option to follow someone without actually following them:

"If you want to read a user's Tweets but not see their messages in your main timeline every day, lists allow you to do that. Similarly, following someone else's list does not mean you follow all users in that list. Rather, you follow the list itself." - Twitter Help Center, How to Use Twitter Lists

I've recently created a public list for @IRCaulibraryAshland University. The list features university accounts. I am able to easily promote tweets from the list and provide options for others to subscribe if interested.  More public lists will be developed as current follows lend themselves to several distinct categories (books, educational technology, etc.). In a few months I'll check in again to discuss/update use of the IRC Twitter account. 

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