Learn to make a mark on the world
As Twitter began its surge in 2007 and waved into 2008, I went from client services to instructional design. I heard more about it from colleagues. I didn’t think much of it as a learning tool until about 2010. I started looking for options to improve my portfolio and a friend of mine from my previous job mentioned the discourse businesses have on Twitter. I asked him what he meant and so he showed me what his business was doing. He runs a small SEO company that caters to chiropractors and other small independent companies that have a web presence.
I started following a few other interests on Twitter—mostly web-comic artists and game designers. I realized that these folks were not just sharing their opinions and breakfast options. They were sharing substantive content. David Silver (2009) says, “Don’t tweet thin,” and I immediately knew what he meant.
We see tweets from celebrities that are almost meaningless, but then again, professional graphic designers post links to their inspirations. Frankly, my passion for info-graphics has come from following certain Adobe Illustrator (@illustrator) users on Twitter. I find awesome works of digital art that communicates for education, job aids, or simply for marketing—all from very talented people. Check out this from the Adobe Illustrator Twitter feed: https://www.behance.net/gallery/19057037/Lufthansa?scid=social_20140909_31293086
Working in instructional design, we see technology used for different reasons, most of it with the concept that it some how involves learning. When Twitter first started to appear, I had no idea. Now, I think its one of the best open forum places to find new ideas, share inspiration, and waste countless hours of time. Thompson says (2007) “Scrolling through random Twitter messages can’t explain the appeal. You have to do it — and, more important, do it with friends.”
Here I am now, more than five years later. I use Twitter to follow not my friends, but those people who could easily be them. They are like a mass collective of ideas buzzing around in the internet waiting to enter your head. And when they do, you can examine, search, and reply to with your fingers. It’s the best friend your interests ever had.