Some time ago I was thinking about how Twitter’s character limitations for tweets imposed brevity and concision on tweet authors. Nonetheless, in spite of those restrictions, when you begin to disassemble a tweet, a rich and complex ensemble is revealed. More recently I’ve been revisiting those actors and trying to think about them in terms of what they ‘do’ when enacting different practices teachers associate with professional development. The thing which most struck me was that different actors play a more or less significant role depending on the practice in which they’re involved. For example, the ‘Follow’ button is clearly significant in the activity teachers call ‘connecting with others,’ but is (arguably) less important when ‘discussing issues.’ I then began to consider how it might be possible to map the significance of different tweet actors as participants in different professional development activities. These ponderings produced the following vis:

Read More »

Wither wends my tweet?

I was attempting to write a vignette yesterday about how the tweet which prompted this post actually got in front of the eyes of some people who might be so inclined to respond. If we’re asking a question or seeking advice, rather than sharing a resource or thought, then the audience becomes even more significant than it normally would. Without an audience, like the falling tree in the forest needing someone to hear it, the tweet and the query it carries may as well not be there.Read More »

Deconstructing a tweet

“The Note!” flickr photo by Smitten with Kittens shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Maybe it’s the brevity of being restricted to only 140 characters that causes us to take a tweet for granted. Or perhaps the rate at which we read and produce them has rendered them into little more than message carriers; digital versions of the scribbled notes we might once have passed under the desk in school. Of course they are message carriers, but I’d like to suggest that, thanks to the different components we include, and to Twitter’s algorithms, they actually do much more than that.Read More »