I saw a tweet from @Robin2go which had a hashtag, #psutlt. I looked up the hashtag, trying to find what she was talking about, and I found another tweet by @jeffswain talking about “Why do you tweet?” with the same hashtag. Jeff also has a blog, five-4-six,where he posted the same video. Here is my response.
Why do you tweet?
This is such a simple question but everyone finds it impossible to simply answer. It’s like asking why do you talk to people or why do you listen to people.
I tweet to and talk with and listen to people – like you Jeff – that I’ve never met but with whom I have something in common. I think of tweeting like a constant conversation taking place on the internet and twitter users can choose to join or listen. I think there is a little more transparency with twitter than with instant messages. So, I, like a lot of people, have more personal conversations on twitter.
I started my twitter account in October 2008. I didn’t really commit to tweeting until March 2009 at SXSW. It seemed like everyone there had an iPhone and was on twitter. I was actually blogging my notes from the conference and I found a nice API that would tweet my blog posts. So that why I started tweeting.
In October 2009, I went to HighEdWeb, and again everyone had an iPhone or a laptop, and it seemed like everyone was tweeting – constantly. I started reading the hashtags in tweets from the conference and putting a face with the presenters I was hearing. I realized then that they are people like me and twitter is another tool – like instant messengers – that we can use to have conversations. I also realized the difference from AIM is that twitter is a many-to-many conversation. The only limitation on how many people you can talk to is how many people follow you. Since HighEdWeb I’ve followed lots of people from the conference and we have shared several ideas about higher education.