A quick post to follow-up on my last blog post.
In a week I have gone from having a dozen Twitter followers (nearly all classmates at UAF required to follow me for class) to 73. I’ve moved from following maybe 20 people — and never actually looking at what they post — to following 166 people carefully selected based on the content they create. (See more on my Twitter (re)Awakening here.) I went looking into the data on my Twitter account and my blog (which I promoted on Twitter for the first time yesterday). Here’s what I found on TweepsMap and using WordPress built-in analytics:
People who follow me on Twitter (locations, rounded to .1%):
1.9% each of Denmark, Serbia, Italy, New Zealand, France, and Portugal
The above US group breaks down further:
7.4% North Carolina
3.7% each of New York, California, Indiana, Washington
1.9% each of Colorado, S. Carolina, Connecticut, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, Hawaii, Missouri, Iowa, Florida, and “Other” US.
That’s almost 25% non-US! 10 countries and 16 of the United states are represented.
Views of this blog yesterday (3/5/13) alone (locations):
44 United States
2 each from Canada, France, and Spain
1 each from Belarus, Serbia, India, Hungary, Australia, Korea, Portugal, and Italy
49 of the above views were a result of me tweeting my blog post and a couple people re-tweeting it. Only 5 hits came in via my link in Facebook — those people who are my personal friends. There were 52 unique visitors to the blog.
Read this and your linked article as well. Very nice description of the moment when Twitter “clicks.” It reminded me very much of a video I posted a couple of years ago as part of an online seminar (I will NOT use the term “webinar”) on Twitter in higher ed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY6hqkGvb1c
Thank you for sharing this! I certainly didn’t “get” Twitter for a long time but after really seeing and experiencing the value, I feel it is an essential and unique component of my professional life. I only wish more ONID students would embrace it! ED 431 is my 3rd ONID course. Each course required the use of Twitter but I have found that nearly everyone uses it exactly as much as they have to and no more. When the course is over, they’re done. I really believe this is because they didn’t have the revelation you and I had — probably because, in most cases, they aren’t spending the time to really build that network so their stream has value to them.
There is definitely a “critical mass” element of Twitter. Until that mass is reached, Twitter can feel like just another social networking tool without much value. Most of my undergraduate students react with “why would I use Twitter if I already use Facebook?” It all depends, as you mentioned, on the people and organizations you follow. Finding the right mix can takr time, and if you don’t see the potential value at the outset it’s probably not likely that you’ll put the time and effort it takes to build a PLN. I think that a student in any field should leave the university setting with a PLN in place–but no one wants to take the ongoing responsibility to see that that happens.
This is really interesting – the comparison with facebook is pretty surprising. I’m going to go check out TweepMaps, thanks for bringing it to my attention!