Five Rules for Tweeting

I love twitter. Really. I could spend hours following links because one link tweeted results in a path of interest followed. The people I follow - and I follow more than I can keep track of - share wonderful articles and ideas and thoughts. And humor. I get so excited about all the great information and ideas that I will suddenly find that there are 20 or 30 windows open of articles to read or respond to. Then I put them into my Diigo "read later". Then I get overwhelmed. I'm like a kid who doesn't want to miss out on anything.

My own tweets are often retweets of stuff others have found for me (thank you everyone), or maybe, on Tuesdays, my participation in #edchat. I used to voice my own thoughts more, but now, knowing that my administrators read every tweet of mine, I try to hold my tongue more. It still comes out sometimes though, my frustration with something at my school. And then I hear about it. I would like to converse with the many interesting people on my twitter feed, but my time is chopped into pieces by different obligations and "flow" is hard to come by. I would like to get to know everyone better. I would like to go to a party of people I follow.

I can lose hours lost online, so I was thinking about some rules for myself. This is me talking to myself:
  1. Make sure everyone you follow is grouped into a list and focus on one group at a time. Talk to people. Build relationships. Give as well as you get.
  2. Don't load up more than five links at a time to "read later". Read them now. Don't open up more links until you have dealt with these. Otherwise, you will never get to them and e-clutter will bog down your computer.
  3. Don't save links for "maybe someday". As you read something, decide if it is a use, save, or close right then.  If you think your followers will find it valuable, retweet it. Key word: value. Don't RT every darned thing you think is interesting - you will overwhelm your followers. If you think your friends will enjoy it, send it to them. If you think it is useful for your students, Diigo it with appropriate tags.
  4. Set time limits. If it is Tuesday #edchat, you know yu will be there for an hour or so. Before you get on, decide how much time you will spend. 
  5. Filter. Some things are not everyone's business. If you need to rant, do it with a friend, and if that friend is on twitter, do it with a direct message.
Five rules: one hand. Makes them easier to remember.

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