Disillusionment of Twitter Collaboration
I love Twitter. The ability it gives to instantly connect with anyone and share thoughts, ideas and whimsy. But as Twitter has become more and more mainstream, the core ethos of those early pioneers (which my fingertips have been merely on the coat-tails of) has been diluted to the extent where recent disaffection has spread like wildfire.
I’m talking about collaboration, sharing and genuinely supporting each other. I originally found my way into the world of blogging and Twitter because I wanted to find other teachers who were doing similar things to me in the classroom and would value what I thought and my ideas. In other words, my confidence was low and I needed reaffirmation that what I was doing in my own eyes was ‘right’. I loved collaborating on projects and got a real buzz when your own ideas were taken on by others. The formula has seemed to be talk on Twitter, publish on Wordpress or similar and tweet about that post a couple of times.
However, I’ve either used up all my half decent ideas (quite possible) or the predominant userbase on Twitter has changed along with the formula for collaboration and supportive interaction. People clearly want to be heard, recognised and affirmed — nothing wrong with that but it seems the two main ways that happens are either ‘shout shout shout’ until you can’t be ignored or minor trolling of fellow educationalists. Obviously the trolling is abhorent but I do understand why some choose to shout, sending out 20+ tweets about the same blog post. As otherwise, the ripple in the twitter pond is so small it is not even noticed (and certainly, if you are like me and refuse to ‘promote’ your own posts beyond 2 or 3 tweets — it seems more and more that your voice goes unnoticed). I am as guilty of causing this as anyone, I use a Twitter list day to day, which is inherently selective and whilst I can manage covering everything that goes on in it, it generally means I will miss newcomers and people that have just as many valuable ideas as those on my list.
There are 2 main sites out there at the moment seemingly continuing the ethos of collaboration and support — the excellent http://staffrm.io and http://www.pedagoo.org. I follow both but their issue is as they rightly become more and more popular, they create the same ‘dilution’ issue as Twitter and I like others will not have the time to sift through all the posts from the sites. I want a way of picking and choosing what kinds of posts I want to read. Having said that I’m still toying with the idea of using Staffrm. It just seems to have the same fresh enthusiasm that made early Twitter and blog use so appealing.
So I’ve found myself moving away from Wordpress and moving to Medium. Slightly ironically, created by a Twitter co-founder. In short it’s like Twitter blogging mixed with Flipboard. You can follow what you want — tags and all and it has the significant advantage that if it becomes very popular, it should be just as easy to find the kind of content you are interested in.
I’ll still be using Twitter just as much, but I’m hoping Medium can be a platform that will increase collaboration and supportive interaction with like minded individuals.