I first joined Twitter in June 2012 and I don’t think I’ve yet left the nest.
I can’t remember why I first joined. I think it was because I knew my work at WMPL would require a personal presence on the platform. Like any novice to a social site, my first year was littered with great stretches of inactivity. My first username was @Ua_MV because @UaMV was taken. At some point during that first year, an oddity and improbability happened – that user modified their handle and my online moniker of @UaMV was freed for the taking.
I didn’t begin grasping the value of Twitter until after months of toying with management of the @prayerleague account. Now, over two years later, I may have my flying wings. There are loads of articles out there on Twitter how-tos, dos & donts, guidebooks and such. Here I intend to share only a single point regarding my philosophy on Twitter use and how I intend to Tweet in 2015 and beyond.
Twitter Is Invading My Feed!
If you’re into Twitter, you may have heard the recent fuss about how Twitter may soon be implementing algorithms for the content pushed to a user’s feed. Additionally, they have begun serving up your follower’s favorited Tweets. Many people (especially at the outset) were resistant to this change. Even I was less than pleased about this invasiveness on Twitter’s part and replied to a few of these favorited Tweets with something like …
— Ua Vandercar (@UaMV) September 6, 2014
I thought maybe the hashtag would catch on, Twitter would take notice, and the algorithms would be out the window. It didn’t, they didn’t, and it is probably inevitable that additional curated content algorithms will have a hand in user’s feeds.
However, after further consideration of Twitter’s move to serve me my follower’s favorited Tweets, I came around. The move would be a good one for Twitter. They have even stated their own reasons for this change. Personally, I think it’ll encourage curated content and closer-knit collectives and will be doing just this very thing for me in 2015. This is how …
Twitter’s Favorite ≠ Facebook’s Like
I’ve shifted my perspective on what it means to favorite a Tweet. I don’t think Twitter’s favoriting feature was ever intended to serve the same purposes as Facebook’s like feature. I could be wrong. People have written on the origin of the fave and the various ways in which it’s employed today. Here’s my new take on what it means to favorite a Tweet.
I have begun to think that a favorites feed should serve as one’s own personal library of Tweets. You read books and then place them on a shelf. Your personal library is a collection of books that you have found to hold value or books you may wish to read again later. If a friend stops by, they can peruse your bookshelves, pluck a volume from its place and enjoy what it might have to offer. Your library tells a story about who you are. If someone were to ever drop by my profile’s favorite feed, they should be offered a decent glimpse of me and the things I value. This is how I intend to build my favorites feed.
In 2015, I resolve to stop using a favorite as a simple acknowledgment or an affirmation. Such favoriting would continue to produce an endless feed of messages like this …
@uamv Awesome! We just tweeted about it.
— rocketgenius (@rocketgenius) October 7, 2014
@UaMV yes. that is true. i'm not sure that's a good enough reason to engage.
— John Saddington (@saddington) October 6, 2014
@UaMV awesome sauce. Thank you. We may try this tonight.
— Danielle Larson (@DanielleELarson) September 15, 2014
I would rather encounter a rich library of resources, good reads, and inspirational thoughts and I think you would, too.
Is Tweeting for the Birds?
At the end of the day, who knows whether I have a better grasp on this little corner of the social media landscape. I like to think it offers me some significant benefit relationally, spiritually, and professionally. However, I expect that I might ultimately find, as I have with Facebook, that the virtual life is but a weak substitute for reality. And, someday, I may join the ranks of those who have walked away. Even so, I hold that there is some hope for these communities being daily forged online. For now, I’ll do my part to conserve some unspoilt nature in this virtuworld. Care to join me?