What is twitter?

Twitter is a place where people answer the question, "What are you doing now?" Every time you answer that question in 140 characters or less via the Twitter website, SMS, email, IM, or other Twitter client, it posts to your Twitter account. Posts are publicly viewable on the Twitter time line or can be made viewable just to friends or individuals.

Twitter gives you the chance to publish your thoughts quickly or to tune into the thoughts and information streams of other users from around the world. Twitter posts are ideal for making single points or sharing a single piece of information, like a link, instantly. Twitter is a microblog.  Every time you post a new message, that message is relayed to all of the people in your friends list, published to your personal Twitter home page, and added to the public home page unless you tell it otherwise. Your tweets can also be posted to your blog, or other social networking sites to which you belong.  In addition, Twitter offers the ability to send direct messages to any of those you follow, or who follow you, without their being part of the public Twitter stream.

There is a lot of information about Twitter. Here is an short introduction to what Twitter is and how to use it:

This Common Craft video of Twitter gives a simple explanation

 Libraries and professional organisations using twitter
Lots of professional organisations, libraries and councils are using twitter to keep their clients informed.
Mosman Council
Denver Public Library
New South Wales Reference and Information Services Group

Mylee and Ellen are both using twitter.

Please add a link to your library's twitter account in the comments on this blog.

Also have a look at this blog post by David Lee King about how not to tweet if you are a library and also at his slideshow about Tweet like you mean it!

You can search twitter for subjects of interest or people. Search twitter

You can also make is easier for people to search for information about an event or organisation by using #tags.  For example if you are tweeting about this course use #nswlearning2.1

Search twitter for what is being written about libraries (you may need to try a few different terms) and another subject of interest to you

Write in your blog about what you found, what tweets were the most interesting or relevent?

Visit Twitter and sign up for a free account. Be sure to fill out your profile information so people will know something about you.  Include your blog address if you want to increase traffic to your blog.  Your name and username will be visible to Twitter users, but you can choose to keep your updates (tweets) private or put them on the public time line. Only approved friends will be able to see tweets for protected or private accounts. Since Twitter works best if you have a group of friends, colleagues, or family on Twitter with you, Twitter gives you the opportunity to invite friends to Twitter via email.

2. Try a few tweets. It's not as easy as it sounds to keep your messages to the short 140 character limit and still get your message across. Think of it as a challenge, like making a word with the letters you're given in Scrabble.
3 Find some people to follow.
4. If you are tweeting about the course include the following tag in your tweet #nswlearning2.1
5.  If you have set up a Flickr account in the learning 2.0 course you can link it to your twitter account (as well as your blog).  There are instructions how to set this up.

 Blog Prompts
 1.  Blog about the experience and be sure to post your Twitter username there so others can see it and follow you.  You might even like to share your twitter name in a comment at the end of this post.
  2.   Did you like micro-blogging? Do you love it, hate it or not sure? Explain.
  3.   How else could libraries use Twitter?

Ellen and Mylee


slnsw_learning_2.0 said...

Leading by example (or should that be learning by example?) my learning diary blog is refreshed, and I've completed the Twitter section.
Mylee (PLS)

Ellen said...

Yes - I have also started this program as it is very different actually trying out the tools to just reading about them. I really like the 'tweet this' option from Flickr and tweet reach.

Megan said...

I'm tweeting at and I aim not to tweet too much! I've gone off blogging and reading blogs right now cause time is of the essence. Using Hootlet to update as it's saves time. The favourites tool on twitter is v handy too.

Amy, Reader Services Librarian said...

I've started tweeting in a very minor way for myself but am hoping to make a good go of it for the library. Tweeting as WaggaLibrary.

Renee, Technology Officer said...

I have been avoiding setting up tweeting @ Lake Macquarie Library, however it is inevitable and I am actually starting to enjoy it using my personal account. I will set it up soon. Now I just have to convince other staff to jump on board and enjoy :)

Superchicken 77 said...

I am
but haven't had too much to tweet about so far. See potential for it in the library but not my personal life!

swallow said...

I've twittered but not often and make a share link from my delicious account. also I've followed Ellen and Mylee. It's quite useful to announce any event for the library. But personally I wouldn't use it three times a day since I have not much to tell.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mylee & Ellen

Draconian measures have been installed by my council upon all
departments including library staff
PCs (public internet PCs exempt) which ban all access to social media (eg Twitter, Facebook etc.)as they feel it is impacting on the organisation in a negative manner.

There should have been some consultation with the library.

Cheers Di

Colquhouns said...

Like Di, our access to Twitter, etc. restricted and I had to get my timing right - between 12 and 2pm OK.

I'm not keen to do the Twitter thing on a personal basis. I've got a blog and Facebook and feel that that's enough. In fact, I've not been in the Facebook thing for a while and posted anything for a while - I'm getting bored with it I think and can't think of anything interesting to say. And that's the trouble with Twitter as I see it, for individuals; who, except your nearest and dearest, wants to know all the ins and outs of your life - going for a cuppa now, phew got the vaccuming done at last . . . And so much time could be spent updating blogs, twitter, Facebook, etc. (especially on the really slow connection I have at home) that you don't spend time face to face with your nearest and dearest which is ALWAYS nicer.

However, I can see that for Libraries it is a very useful tool - a quick way of getting a message out and, with links back to the blog which may have more information, an idea to pursue . . .

pls@slnsw said...

You are right - we can't all be using all the web 2.0 tools. For you a blog and facebook work well, but for others there will be a different combination. This is one of the really fun things about web 2.0 - we will all have different tools which we use and some will overlap and others won't.


WillC58 said...

Already have a private twitter account. Time is against me in using it as regularly as I would like, BUT I will make time to get back to it.

Sandra said...

Tweet me @
Don't use it very much, prefer Facebook & Flickr.

pls@slnsw said...

Did you know you can search Twitter using Search and you can also do a more sophisticated advance search using Advanced Search

Mylee (PLS)

PamL said...

Interesting to read that many people aren't interested in personal Tweeting. I use mine (@langridgep) for a combination of both, just whatever I think is interesting. But I don't feel pressured to post multiple times a day. Once a week is plenty, I reckon. Also, I REALLY like the way mobile tweeting from my mobile phone completely bypasses the council's IT dept!
When I was looking for people to follow, I found the mixed approach the most attractive. There were some celebrities I initially wanted to follow (too embarrasing to admit who!!), but their tweets were too private, so I backed off. I enjoy following someone like Chrystie Hill (@itgirl) because she has a mix of personal and library-related posts.
Also, I really like the short format of micro-blogging. I'm good at either single sentences or entire essays. It's medium-length that stumps me :)

pmr said...

Like a few of the others, I have facebook, Flickr and possibly a few others floating around on the www, so am not seeing the need for Twitter on a personal basis... professionally I'm still weighing up the pro's and cons of updating yet another blog/website/Social Network.

Anonymous said...

Updated my blog, inlcuded a new background and text colour. Added some other things aswell, like pictures of books I've recently read. Also, I've had a look at tweeter. I'm still not sure about it, seems a bit frivolous, just posting small comments, I don't know. I have to give it more time.

Wayne@MTO said...

We also cannot access twitter but our library staff have started using This allows staff in companies to communicate with each other in a very similar way to twitter.

pls@slnsw said...

I have not used yammer, however it sounds a very interesting tool to use within a work place.

Kim said...

I use a personal address for my tweeting (@variel), though have recently created one to be used for our library service, that is if I can get it integrating with our website as well as I'd like.

Like PamL I use my mobile to do most of my tweeting, (tweetdeck for iphone) and also use tweetdeck on both home PCs if I want to put anything up. I like using tweetdeck as it also has an option to post to a few other sites at the same time provided you link your account for that site into tweetdeck. Mostly I use this to crosspost facebook status and tweets.

I will say that not all my tweet are politcally correct and that I probably follow one too many World of Warcraft based twitterers.

Anonymous said...

BathurstLibrary is on Twitter now also...still getting the hang of things, but have made the background & text funky!
Nat :)

pls@slnsw said...

I have added you to my list of libraries who tweet.

Marian said...

I have just joined the twitter revolution - tweeting at

trindall said...

I have joined twitter a long time ago but have just learnt how to use it my name is maggietrindall

Janelle said...

Hey Maggie .I just read your twitter-well done.I am still trying to figure it out.

AlburyCity Libraries said...

I have been Twittering away like CRAZY! Love it!! @AlburyCityLib.

AlburyCity Libraries said...

AlburyCity Libraries has a new Twitter account! I have been Twittering like CRAZY! LOVE IT!! @AlburyCityLib

pls@slnsw said...

Great to see - I have added it to my twitter list of libraries who are using twitter.


twinsplusone76 said...

OK. I can now see how twitter can be used to keep people up to date with the happenings of the Library. Will definately try to keep using.

Jo's Mojo said...

Ok my public library doesn't tweet ....yet. Well it is a small library, the web page for 'news' is usually quite out of date, so don't think anyone will be tweeting too soon. Not complaining, ...they just don't have the time. Also we have lots of 'older' patrons in our library.I did find some interesting tweets to follow myself.

pls@slnsw said...

I am glad you found some tweets of interest. The use, and the interest in use, will vary from library to library and from person to person. It took me almost two years before I really decided that I liked twitter.

Ellen (PLS)

Cooljusher said...

Jusy started feeling my way around Twitter, not sure if it would be relevant to my life or work. Tweeting name: coolahjusher

Wendy said...

I think I have too many feeds and stuff to follow to follow others on twitter as well, but I'll give it a go. @wendy26wendy