Friday, June 13, 2014

Twitter is Overwhelming. Tweetdeck fixes that. Use it.

Friends, if you are not on Twitter yet, you are missing out on more than I can even try to accurately describe.  Friends on Twitter, if you are not using Tweetdeck yet, you must either be overwhelmed, have given up, or limit who you follow to less than 50 people/groups.  Friends using Tweetdeck, I'm about to preach the gospel.

Tweetdeck leverages the true power and ease (yes, I said ease) of Twitter.  If Tweetdeck didn't exist, I would not be using Twitter.  I know there are other ways to manage Twitter, but I've found the ease of Tweetdeck to fit my non-techy status. 

When I first joined Twitter last summer, I knew I wanted to keep my Twitter account strictly professional.  So, aside from following a few personal friends, I just followed other teachers and a few education groups.  After following about 50 people/groups, I realized some tweeted way more than others.  In fact, two or three people were dominating my Twitter feed.  These were great educators, but I didn't need to read all 500 of their tweets each day.  I figured there had to be a different way.  I found others I wanted to follow, but didn't know how I'd see their tweets in the massive sea of tweets I was now seeing in my Twitter feed.  I did not want to constantly read my single column Twitter feed in hopes of finding those gems from the education gurus I so admired.  I simply didn't have the time.  So, I gave up for a bit.

Then, I found Tweetdeck.  I don't remember how I found it or who showed it to me, but I am so happy I discovered its power!  Tweetdeck allowed me to pick and choose which Tweets I'd see.  It's arranged in multiple side-by-side columns as opposed to one single feed of everything.  I customized it according to my interests and needs.  At the top of each column is either a list or hashtag that I want to follow.  Sometimes, I'll follow one person or one group if I'm at a conference or on a Twitter education chat.  Columns in Tweetdeck can be changed, deleted, added, or rearranged at any time. At first, I started with just three columns.  Currently, I have 14 columns I casually glance at throughout the day.  I now never miss anything I want to see, and I rarely see Tweets that aren't relevant to my needs.

I went from this, hoping to see good Tweets occasionally:

A screenshot of my current Twitter feed.  I now rarely visit this site.  With Tweetdeck, I really have no need for it. 

To this, a more organized view of all the Tweets I don't want to miss (notice the headings in each column): 

Obviously, as my headings indicate, my main use for Twitter is to stay up to date with the latest literacy education happenings, methods, news, conferences, etc.  I also have a news column to remain informed of all happenings in the world. Also, I like to keep up to date with my favorite Bay Area educators and the great edu-leaders on #caedchat, a weekly Sunday night California teacher chat.

Since I am not the most techy of all the techy teachers out there, I am in no place to give anyone a Tweetdeck tutorial.  So, I found info here:  Simple Tweetdeck how-to directions from Twitter   There are also a ton of tutorials on YouTube.

I hope this helps some of you who are Twitter lurkers or skeptics.  I was once there, and Tweetdeck changed everything for me.  Happy Tweeting! 

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