Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 11 seconds
My kid’s a horrible eater, in quantity, quality & diversity of her food. She won’t even eat an entire egg, and we can get really tiny eggs here in Egypt. She’ll only eat half of one of those, and it has to be cooked next to basterma (salted cured meat probably like bacon, a bit smelly and makes your sweat stink afterwards), then she’ll only eat the eggs and just smell the basterma but not eat it. I hate basterma. I hate wasting the other half of the egg when she won’t eat it. But she won,t have the egg without the basterma, and you can’t cook half an egg. Ok, you can, but you’d have to do something else with the other half, and freezing it never seemed attractive. I always have hope she’ll eat the whole thing.
My kid asked for eggs and basterma immediately after i read Audrey Watters’ latest post on EML about twitter. In it she recites some of the criticisms of twitter like Erin’s and Bonnie’s, and Bonnie’s “behind” post (which I also refer to in a previous post). To be fair, none of these wonderful connected educators are talking about the demise of twitter, and none have forgotten or are ignoring its potential despite the (very valid) criticisms. But I wanted to write this post to make two concise points:
1. You can have half the egg on twitter
Twitter isn’t all or nothing, you can make it what you want. As it is now, anyway. You can have half the egg and ignore the smelly basterma even though you know it’s nearby. I like this analogy!
I’ve written previously about how I choose not to use it for politics and now I check hashtags and notifications, but not my twitter stream (lists of ppl might also be a cool idea to try; not sure it works well on iPad, though, maybe something to explore).
2. I don’t want others to miss out on the benefit
I am scared that others who might stand to benefit from twitter will be put off by all this. All the criticisms are valid and strong and important. I just think (so far) there are ways around having to go near the basterma and it’s totally acceptable to eat half the egg… On Twitter i mean. And i am afraid that we might out people off eggs altogether… Ppl who have never tried it.
Again, none of these educators is suggesting people leave twitter. They are all still on twitter.
Audrey recommends maybe adding educator blogs and not relying fully on twitter. I agree but I think blogging is much more complex and needs a lot more investment than twitter (could be a good thing but also a barrier to access and connection). Some ppl find it hard to tweet but it’s a lot harder to blog regularly and well and have followers. As a “virtual nobody” I have connected with so many people on twitter (past 900 now) and many of them read my blog and my other articles, but it’s not as many, and i get much more interaction with people on twitter than my blog. In fact, its twitter that helps me blog – thru promoting, interacting, seeing retweets, but also it helps me find other bloggers and their stuff, and include it in my own blogging. Like Erin’s article, i think, was suggested by Tim Klapador who noticed my discussion with Bonnie on twitter (i think!)
Twitter is by no means the great equalizer, loads of power dynamics going on there… But it’s power dynamics are different from those of blogging and facebook, and in a sense once u “get it” the barriers to participation seem lower to me…