Friday, April 18, 2008

twitter and pownce

I finally gave in and signed up with Twitter. I have to say up front that I've had some mixed feelings about it. There is something at least slightly creepy about signing up to follow and be followed. I can't help but translate into stalking or being stalked.

But Steve McCann convinced me that I really do need to know about this. So, I'm stalking him.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter, you send brief updates periodically via the web, IM or text message. Those updates are posted on your Twitter site and go to those who are following you. In return, you get updates on your site from everyone you're following. If you want to see what it looks like, you can check out my Twitter page. Note the somewhat scary and crazed-looking South Park avatar in the background. This should make any potential for real stalkers think twice.

I'm still not sure about how libraries can make use of this. Certainly you could use it to keep patrons informed about upcoming library events and/or new books. There are also ways for blog updates to show up on Twitter. In the meantime, I'm looking for some good library examples. So, if you know of any, send them my way. And I'm trying to avoid those that give me TOO MUCH INFORMATION. I set up a Twitter account for MT Bibliotechies that will use an RSS feed so Twitter's another way you can keep up with tech postings.

Pownce is another variation. What's different about Pownce is that you can not only share text but also media with your friends. That means you can send photos, videos, music files. I'm not sure what the size limit is for free accounts. But if I'm puzzled as to how to use Twitter in libraries, I'm even more puzzled with Pownce. But the event feature has some potential. I just posted a notice about an upcoming author event at Parmly on my Pownce page.

Don't be surprised if one or both of these apps shows up in a future Library 2.0 class. In the meantime, if you want to try them out and start building a network, feel free to follow me. It really is all about being where your users are.

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