Thursday, June 23, 2011

Twitter Dilemma

I'm a very organized person.  I have my piles, but I have organized piles.  But I'm running into some organization issues this week.  You see, I've been blogging for almost six months. I have blogs and awesome educators and writers that I follow daily, reading posts, thinking, reflecting, and commenting if I feel the need to respond.  That's all been manageable.

This week I joined millions of other world wide users:  I'm on Twitter.  Many have referred to it as microblogging.  You receive a snippet of information (140 characters or less) and usually a link to read more.  I really do love it and understand now why so many people utilize this social networking service to deepen and extend their knowledge.  I've made many new connections and I'm learning more each day. I realize that those "voices" out there have great ideas, books, and strategies to share and they are really just like me:  a teacher who wants to make a difference.

So, my dilemma:  I'm reading all these tweets (aka microblogs), clicking on this link, looking at that link, saving this great idea, and so on.  At the end of each day,  I have at least 20 minimized sites at the bottom of my screen that I want to go back and read or dig through or spend more time soaking in the great words of wisdom.  I cannot keep up with this chaos!

Today I found on the Free Technology for Teacher site:  How to Use Google Bookmarks.  Great timing!  Easy to set up.  You can even install a bookmarklet (a button) on your bookmark menu bar, so as I find a great site on Twitter, I click the link, click on my button and save (or bookmark) the site. After an hour of testing out the Google Bookmarks, my minimized sites are gone!

It's a start, but do you have any other suggestions for keeping all the sites from Twitter organized?  What do you do with all the information that you receive from tweets?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Michelle,

    I finally started a Diigo account. Diigo is a way to bookmark sites with tags and descriptions but then you can access your bookmarks from any computer and can share your bookmarks with others. I bet Google bookmarks is pretty similar. I need to look into Google bookmarks since my school district has moved to using Google for so many things. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Thanks Jill. I have a Diigo account as well, but I never liked how the sites were compounded. Then again, I never really spend the time playing with the site either. I'm sure there was a way to organize. The Google bookmarks allow you to create lists, which I love! (Part of my organization OCD!) Thanks again!

  3. Michelle,
    Oh how I understand your dilemma. I'm not sure there is a perfect solution. I finally had to make myself realize there is no way to keep up with it all. The really good stuff will come back a few times. Here are the ways I find I save myself the most time:

    Twitter lists - with so many great people to follow, lists allow me to choose what I read by the time I have.

    Twitter Favorites - If I don't have time to read a link on a tweet, I tend to favorite it. It's easier to get back to the link on Twitter, and I don't clutter my bookmark pages. If the link is one I want to continue to return to, I move it to my bookmarks for a more permanent link.

    Diigo - Like Jill, I use Diigo to bookmark sites I want to be able to go back to later. Diigo lets me highlight, bookmark and tag. Tagging seems to be the secret to efficiency on Diigo.

    Google Reader - I have the blogs I follow in my Google reader and in categories. This allows me to choose my reading based on the time I have. I have a few folders I never want to miss, and a few that are nice to read when time allows.

    My Phone - Apps such as Google Reader, Diigo, Seesmic, Flickr and Tweetcaster make it very easy for me to save, share, and move content.

    I hope you'll share new solutions you discover. I think we're all always looking for ways to stay connected, but manage our time.


  4. Wow Cathy! What a list and so very helpful! Thank you so much. Yes, I realized that I cannot keep up with it all and I have to pick and choose what interests me most. You shared an extensive list of possibilities -- I need to check out the Twitter lists and favorites. I've saved a few lists: #AllWrite, #reading, #edchat, #literacy, #titletalk, #weteach -- are there others that you follow?

    Thank you again for your time in responding! I really do appreciate it -- another great list to add to your PD presentation! :)

  5. Michelle~
    I am in much the same place as you! I have been blogging for only five months and joined twitter only a few months ago. I often feel overwhelmed and worried I am missing something, there is so much to catch! I am trying to utilize list and marking favorites and allowing some to pass. Now, just finding the time to go back to visit those list and stars~ while blogging, reading, commenting and building my PLN!
    Don't miss understand, I am loving it all, but I am so glad to know I am not alone!


  6. Thank you for the tip. I tried the google bookmark.
    I have not joined Twitter. It is my experience with google reader that makes me a little hesitant. At first when I had just few subscriptions I read regularly and almost everything. Now so many things go unread, and even though I star things to be read later I don't always get back to them. I am afraid to be overwhelmed. I am glad that you have the curiosity , energy, and organizational system to venture to new territories.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.