James Clay started something

blue twitter bird

#followfriday is a hashtag which passed me by. Like #fossilfriday. Seemed like a great idea but life’s busy, the web vast, you can procrastinate all day and still find stuff to amaze you. I know. I’ve been there.

Why #followfriday? Isn’t every day a follow day on Twitter?

Come to that, what it is about the tweeting bug which bites some and not others?

It’s an odd idea. Imagine pitching it. You want to do what?  Limit posts. Well, maybe a thousand words isn’t such a bad idea. What? 140 characters! That’s like a single sentence dude. It’ll never catch on.

Twitter was unique. It lost some magic when the character count increased. Now there’s talk of stringing tweets together.

Are the Twitter-leaders losing it?

It seems Twitter is following the path of other good ideas which lacked faith to hang on to the one quality which made them different. In this case – 140 characters or less.

What a brilliant challenge it was. Condensing your message, contracting your thinking, being concise and precise with words. Twitter made you re-examine your use of language. Learn the art of attention grabbing headlines. Appreciate meaningful puns. Appropriation of idioms. Clever metaphors with a twist. For logophiles and other lovers of text the world was our twitterverse and we liked it. Just the way it was.

Soon there will be nothing to distinguish Twitter from other social media platforms where users post a status, like, repost, link, share, add graphics.

The world is moving towards conformity.

Don’t do it Twitter. Stay unique.

In the meantime, James Clay started something on Twitter this week.

Amy Pearlman @AmyPearlman posted a request:-

I know it’s not Friday but who are your best follows for Women IT, Higher Ed issues, Tech, Just plain cool stuff.

James replied with a list of 21. It was good to see ex-colleague Kerry Pinny there – I would have expected to see Chrissi Nerantzi and Sue Becks while thumbs up for Audrey, Bonnie and Donna – education needs their criticality. Then there’s Jane Secker copyright queen and Theresa Mackinnon, cunningly disguised as @WarwickLanguage along with Maren Deepwell from ALT and Sheila McNeill… Hey, I know nearly all these names. What great company to keep. These are the people who understand it’s not the technology, it’s what you do with it that counts.

Tweet list of people to follow

After this, my Twitter feed went a little crazy.  I haven’t counted the subsequent suggestions for Amy to follow. James should have put a hashtag on it!

The buzz is fading. Soon something else will burst into Twitter-life before it also passes by. This is the nature of social media. Transient. Temporary. Of the moment.  But for a short while it was good to think the words you drop into the void of hyperspace might sometimes have an impact. So thanks James for including me. It means a lot.

In the meantime, Christmas is coming. The only time when email stops and professional use of Twitter goes quiet.  Its another year end. Those working in HE have two year ends – academic and seasonal. This is our second round of closures and new beginnings. One more blog post before January and I think I know what it’s going to be…

Have a good week.

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