Twitter Literacy (I refuse to make up a Twittery name for it)
Post-Oprah and apres-Ashton, Twittermania is definitely sliding down the backlash slope of the hype cycle. It’s not just the predictable wave of naysaying after the predictable waves of sliced-breadism and bandwagon-chasing. We’re beginning to see some data. Nielsen, the same people who do TV ratings, recently noted that more than 60% of new Twitter users fail to return the following month. To me, this represents a perfect example of a media literacy issue: Twitter is one of a growing breed of part-technological, part-social communication media that require some skills to use productively. Sure, Twitter is banal and trivial, full of self-promotion and outright spam. When I started requiring digital journalism students to learn how to use Twitter, I didn’t have the list of journalistic uses for Twitter that I have compiled by now. One of my students asked me online why I use Twitter. Immediacy – it is a rolling present. A way to meet new people – it happens every day.