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My favorite new learning tool is Tweetdeck

November 23, 2010
Image representing TweetDeck as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

This is kind of a shock for me.  I was late to the Twitter party and one of those skeptics at first.  But, over the past couple of weeks (really hit home with DevLearn) I have become a backchannel fiend.  Thanks to fall conferences, the tweetdeck dashboard was buzzing constantly.  I love conferences.  All that talking and thinking and reflecting is akin to enjoying a fabulous multi-course meal.  Like gluttony, but in a good way.  Gourmand, perhaps. 

I really liked this tweet that I’ve paraphrased by Don Tapscott:

“Discovery is the new search”

With Tweetdeck, I dip in as I like.  I like these things about it:

Dynamic – not only is the content constantly changing, but I change the columns as well.  Sometimes I have #lrnchat open, other times not.  Events or conferences are time-bound, so they come and go.  I really love how #dl10 is still going strong.  It’s like the conference is echoing.   

Personalized – my columns are going to be different than other people’s columns.  I have an interest in education, enterprise 2.0 and HR.  Others might be drawn to design and technology.  Still others are going to have higher education and assessment as interests.  The fact that I can tweak these to suit me is really great.

Serendipity – I may not know I’m going to find something interesting, but am open to the possibilities.  Kind of like learning in waiting.  I’m trying to keep those that I follow diverse so that I am infused with new things, not just hearing amplified echoes. 

It ain’t perfect – one day I watched#lrnchat column whizz-by at lightning fast speed, which I found hard to follow and basically tuned out.  Luckily I can view the transcript, although there is a bit of decoding that one needs to do, so the amount of work to sift is the same, I’m just time-shifting to suit my schedule.  Also, I favorite things to look at later and then discover that I’ve got a zillion favorites and no real time to scan.   Too many columns means I’m scrolling horizontally a lot.  Also, I need to figure out filters and settings.I think I need to spend a little time tuning up my tweetdeck and becoming more familiar with it, maybe there are ways that I have even thought of to use it as a learning tool. 

I have started talking to my local HR Assocation about how we might use social media to augment their 2011 conference in the spring and have pitched the idea of being an offical backchannel for them.  Rounding up tweeters and bloggers to increase the connection of those attending the conference and those who are tuning in through the backchannel.  Should be interesting! 

I wrote this post after finding this blog post about tweeting at conferences.  I love how learning is so global.  Who knew that people on the left coast of Canada and the land down under would share similar thoughts.  Granted, @stickylearning did have his thoughts 6 months earlier than I did.  We are such laggarts here in Canada!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 3:32 pm

    Hi Holly
    Yes, I wasn’t sure about Twitter for a while but a lot of the time I’m working solo and find that Twitter helps me connect with other learning folk. As for apps, I tend to swing between a couple, Tweetdeck is great for having multiple channels on display and tailoring your feed, I also like the simplicity of Tweetie and the Twitter app for the iPad is great!
    BTW really like your blog, I’ll drop by more often!

    • hollymacdonald permalink*
      November 23, 2010 4:11 pm

      Hi Michael – I just realized I was going to link to your blog in this post, since it was partly responsible for this post. I’m glad I perservered with Twitter. Used as a professional networking tool, it has proved to be brilliant. I struggled for awhile using the web interface of Twitter before switching to Tweetdeck, which was a good move. Interesting that the service is great, but the UI drove the creation of a bunch of other products.


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