Webwatch – Twitter

I think it would be fair to say that a lot of people approach Twitter a little sceptically. To an extent, popular culture will have us believe that it is all about sharing trivial information, such as where you are having coffee or what you are having for dinner in the evening.

While some people use Twitter to share the mundane, there are as many individuals and organisations using it to share valuable information on all sorts of disciplines, one of these being social work.

Euan Semple, an advocate of the use of social media in the workplace, sees the flipside of seemingly inane tweets. He points out that it is not so much what people are saying on Twitter that is important, but that they are making the effort to participate, and that by doing so, will be likely to gain confidence using Twitter and insight into the potential for sharing ‘better’ information.

Having been involved in building the IRISS Twitter profile, it is easy to see the potential amount of useful information that can be gleaned from following similar organisations, and the impact an organisation can have by sharing with its followers.

For those who are not familiar with Twitter, it is a microblogging website where you can post messages of up to 140 characters. It can be used to share news, event details, and can help get discussions going. All you need to do is set up an account, start following others of interest and start tweeting your own news and ideas. Soon you will find that others are following you!

IRISS’s web-based tutorial, developed to support our recent series of workshops
on social networking, includes some useful tips for getting started using Twitter. We have also set up a community of practice on the IDeA platform, entitled Practical Social Media, which aims to get people sharing their experiences and learning. See below for links.

IRISS web-based tool
Practical social media (IRISS CoP)