Intro to Networked Collaboration

Why Twitter?

Lots of people don’t ‘get’ Twitter when they first try it, but like any social network, it doesn’t work until you are following lots of people aligned with your interests, and people are following you. And because it’s such a simple idea/interface, I think it’s nuances and advantages might be elusive, but I can give you some pretty strong reasons for using Twitter and why it’s not ‘useless’:

1. Spidering and interconnectivity between platforms
One big reason is that when you ‘tweet’, it spiders out to many different platforms. Twitter also allows for interconnecting between platforms. You can connect your ‘tweets’ so that they show up on your Facebook status, as sms messages to and from mobile phones, and within instant messaging like Google chat.

So, for example, I can tweet from my mobile phone, and it instantly goes to all these things: my Facebook status, on the Twitter website, my buddies’ IM windows (Google chat or AIM, depending on how they’ve set it up), and for those who’ve set up to receive on their mobile, to my buddies’ mobiles. That’s one action (me tweeting from my mobile) that goes to 4 different platforms. Now that’s efficient!

When something like this makes my life simpler by taking one effort and multiplying its effects, that’s cool

and speaking of multiplying effects…

2. Google loves Twitter
Meaning that if you want to move up in the Google search ranks, Twitter or microblogging in general, is a great way to do that.

Let’s say that you’d like to drive traffic to your band’s site (or your company site or a project site, etc). Then what you’d want to do is optimize search engine results – to move your site up in Google rankings and to have lots of hits associated with that so that naturally moves people toward your site. That’s called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. (That’s my rough definition of SEO – anyone else is welcome to try to clarify that).

Google loves new information, so when it gets fresh info from blogs and microblogging sites like Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, and things like that, those show up high in the search rankings.

A couple of links on Twitter & SEO:
Twitter, SEO, and Online Marketing: You’re Missing the Point
Twittering for SEO

Are you trying to create more online presence for yourself, your band or your company? Then you need to be on it.

3. Breaking news
I now get most of my breaking news from Twitter. Because it’s so immediate and mobile, it’s an ideal platform for distributing breaking news. Check out Here’s how reporters use Twitter for an idea of how journalists and news services are using Twitter.

4. Mobility
Like I said before, I love that I can tweet from my mobile. I just send a msg to 40404 and it instantly updates several platforms. I can also receive my friends’ tweets by mobile (and you can specify which ones). There are also a host of different Twitter clients that make it super-easy to update on the go, like Twittelator for iPhone or TwitterBerry for Blackberry.

5. Easy!
The ‘tweets’ are limited to 140 characters at a time, so it’s easily do-able. It’s almost like writing a haiku – short poetry that’s search-friendly. 🙂
I’m not the kind of person that keeps a blog on a regular basis, but even I can do 140 characters once a day!

So I do my one or two tweets a day, from my mobile, or from a Twitter client, or the web, or whatever, and it keeps my friends ‘in touch’ but it also provides visibility for whatever I tweet about.

Some links to consider:

Student ‘Twitters’ his way out of Egyptian jail — a student covering anti-government protests in Egypt got arrested and was able to send a one-word tweet that got him help getting out of jail

Business TV: Peter Shankman explains Twitter in a paragraph – short n sweet explanation from PR & social media guru Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter. Note: Peter built his Help a Reporter community, which connects reporters with news sources, strictly from using Facebook and Twitter. Within 3 months of starting, he had about 20,000 members and it continues to grow exponentially.

Clive Thompson covers the idea of “ambient awareness” really well in his NY Times article Brave New World of Digital Intimacy

The question isn’t “Why use Twitter?” but rather, “How can I leverage Twitter to work for me?”

I think there are two things that you must do before making a quick-snap judgment about it being useless, so that you can make it work for you and see some advantages:

1. Find people to follow that are in your industry and scope of interests

Whatever you’re into, be it journalism or music or marketing or international development, etc…find the people on Twitter that are involved in and talk about those issues.
For example, if you’re into journalism, check out How journalists can master Twitter .
Go to http://search.twitter.com/ and do a search on your topic of interest and see who’s talking about what and add them accordingly. For example, are you into international development? Try typing in “international development” and see what results you get. Try another one – you’ll be surprised at the amount of intellectual discussion that goes on via tweeting.

2. Listen and give feedback

Part of building community is also being community. If you want to tweet announcements about your band/company/project/etc, that’s fine, but if your tweets are ‘one-way’ and you only tweet to tell people about upcoming gigs, you’re really not having a conversation. People can usually smell marketing a mile away. Just be real. Tweet in the moment. Give feedback and reply when you feel moved to. It’s about building relationships. This is not just about Twitter, but about social media in general. If you want to have online presence, and you want people to talk about your project/idea/company/etc, then you have to be a good listener too.

Ok, so my challenge to you all is to find Twitterers that are involved in things that align with your interests. Share who you find with everyone in class by posting those Twitterers to our Twitter roll page. This will be part of next week’s assignment.

Happy tweeting!

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October 16, 2008 Posted by | tools and methodologies | , , , | 6 Comments

Welcome!

Hi, all! Welcome to the blog for the Introduction to Networked Collaboration class at the New School, Fall ’08! We will introduce the concepts of social media and collaboration within networked environments and look at the effects that networked environments have had on our exchanges, the hybrid models of communication that have developed, and the emergent process of networked collaboration. Please introduce yourself by adding a comment below and let the networking begin…
ps: if you add a comment and don’t see it display immediately, it’s because your first comment to the blog needs to be approved so as to prevent spammers (once you’re “approved” subsequent comments will not need approval)

September 2, 2008 Posted by | introductions | , , | 17 Comments

Transmedia Convergence

When Jenkins talks about convergence culture, he’s also talking about the convergence of different kinds of media — “transmedia.”

For instance, we might watch a movie, like The Matrix, then play the Matrix video game, and then we might download some animated shorts from the Matrix website, and so on.

In Jenkins’ book, Convergence Culture, he states that The Matrix is an example of transmedia storytelling, which refers to an aesthetic that depends on the active participation of knowledge communities. It is an art of “world making,” infused with a sense of play. Consumers chase down bits of the story across media channels, comparing notes with each other via online discussion groups and collaborating to ensure that everyone who invests time and effort will come away with a richer experience. (Convergence Culture, pp. 20-21)

The process may start with any media channel but a successful product will flow across media until it becomes pervasive within the culture at large — comics into computer games, television shows into films, and so forth. (from Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?: Digital Cinema, Media Convergence, and Participatory Culture)

This kind of transmedia intake is fairly common these days. Just take a look at the recent political party campaigns. We might have read about candidates in the papers, watched some of the debates on tv, then checked out videos on websites.

This kind of convergence represents a shift in our relations to media. We are enframing our experiences through popular culture and play, and the skills that we acquire along the way collectively impact the way that we participate in the process and connect with others on a global level.

February 10, 2008 Posted by | convergence | , , , | 3 Comments

Introductions

Hi, all! Welcome to the blog for the Introduction to Networked Collaboration class at the New School. We will introduce the concepts of social media and collaboration within networked environments and look at the effects that networked environments have had on our exchanges, the hybrid models of communication that have developed, and the emergent process of networked collaboration.
Please introduce yourself by adding a comment below and let the networking begin… ~Josephine
ps: if you add a comment and don’t see it display immediately, it’s because your first comment to the blog needs to be approved so as to prevent spammers (once you’re “approved” subsequent comments will not need approval)

January 22, 2008 Posted by | introductions | , , | 14 Comments