The gazillionth post about the benefits of Twitter

I don’t know about any of you but having been on Twitter for well over a year and having reaped many many benefits as a result, I’m a bit tired of defending my use of it to non-believers. The unrivalled opportunities it has provided me to network, to be alerted to relevant articles and blog posts and to generally keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the information world and beyond seems so self-evident to me that sometimes I struggle to summon up the stamina to explain.

Nevertheless I thought it might be useful to list a few of the things it has allowed me to do just in the last month or so:

– Communicate and interact with like-minded librarians on a daily basis
– Follow links to illuminating blog posts on subjects as diverse as ‘librarians as teachers’, ‘reflective practice’, and ‘should broadband access be a right’
– Learn about new social media/web tools to investigate
– Crowdsource solutions to problems (tweeting a problem and receiving solutions from my followers)
– Tweet during the first day of the EBSLG conference in order to record key points and thoughts (and interact with those not at the event about the content in real time)
– Follow and interact with library-related topics of current interest (e.g. CILIP’s Defining our Professional Future initiative and this week’s KPMG comments about how volunteers should run libraries)
– Keep abreast of the latest UK and international news as it breaks (e.g. the recent election – which prompted me to tweet my not always untrivial personal views on election night)
– Co-ordinate the Cam23 programme via tweets, replies and direct messages with the project team, and keep an eye on it generally via the #cam23 hashtag
– Attend a very enjoyable tweet-up (a pub night with fellow librarians on twitter)
– Read tweets from my favourite comedians to help me through the day
– Keep up with my non-librarian friends on Twitter

Reading this list you might think that I’m on Twitter all the time. I’m not, but it is fair to say that it has becomes a vital component of my daily routine, so much so, the thought of going back to my pre-twitter existence is not a pleasant one – it would now feel akin to being shut in a cupboard.


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