I'm a couple weeks behind in posting my experiences on the Twitter challenge in 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy. The challenge was to monitor Twitter twice a day for seven days; examine the information being exchanged and learn how to control the incoming information.
For whatever reason, this was not that easy a challenge for me. Last month, I watched as my fellow geneabloggers tweeted from the Family History Expo in Kansas City. I tried to follow along, but just couldn't quite grasp how Twitter works.
When the 52 Weeks challenge came up, I figured that I could do this for one week. I got an account on Twitter and started to follow a few of my online genealogy friends. I downloaded Tweet Deck, which I found helped me manage the incoming information much better than on the Twitter site. After the seven days were over, I wasn't impressed and posted a comment on Facebook that said "Bye Bye Blue Birdie."
But - I didn't close out my Twitter account. I continued to check the messages a couple times a day. I still find it difficult to follow conversations - they don't appear to be threaded the way I'm used to seeing on message boards or even Facebook. But if I don't check in, I think that I might be missing something. For example, I really enjoyed reading the tweets from the people attending the Family History Expo in Salt Lake City this weekend. That's #FHexpo on Twitter in case you didn't know.
While browsing books at Barnes and Noble this week, I noticed there were a couple books on using Twitter and Facebook for marketing. These were thick books! So I thought there must be something more to this Twitter thing than 140 characters. I didn't buy the books. In fact, I didn't even look at them. But the size of them made me rethink "the Twitter thing."
Even though I am not enamored with Twitter (yet), I am a proponent of social media as a resource in aiding genealogical research. So I started to do some tweeting and retweeting. I have no idea why anyone is following me, but they are! So, just to tie LongLostRelatives.net into my Twitter account, I've added a widget to the blog that displays my most recent tweets. I've always been a believer in keeping content fresh on web sites, so having the live Twitter feed on this blog made sense.
I may have gone into this kicking and screaming and complaining, but I'm on Twitter and I'm probably going to stick around for a while. So if you want to follow me, come on over to http://twitter.com/sooznebr