I've been using Twitter for a while now. I signed up mid-July, but didn't really start using it in earnest until mid-September.
It's like most people say, until you use it, you won't understand it. I was at a Women of the Web 2 talk and wrote in the chat window that I was uncertain how to start following people. It didn't seem quite right to just start following people - seemed stalkerish in a way.
A few people said, you don't ask to follow people, you just start following them. So I did and here I am a few months later. I have learned SO much through the various tweets that I see. One of them led me to a post by JenW - 140 Characters Does Not a Friend Make...
I was going to write a comment, but there is more floating around in my head than a would put in a comment.
I do like Twitter. I have said before that it is like being in a office full of people that you would want to work with personally. It also has, in many ways, a different feel than a blog. Since people post the little things (like holiday prep, recipes, and iguanas being stalked by cats) I get more of a sense of the person.
I know these connections are not friendships, but they help build a working online relationship. As I "see" the person, I feel more of a pull to help out commenting on someone else's students blogs, voicethread, and other work. They seem more like colleagues.
That said, after reading some of the comments to Jen's posts, I decided to remove myself as a follower of those who are not following me. As I read tweets, I forgot that all those that I follow do not follow me and are therefore not reading my tweets. If I respond to something someone writes, they will see me as more of a stranger than a colleague.
I enjoy the back and forth comments. I look forward to seeing who is running a race and who is traveling to do a presentation to other teachers. At least now I will be certain that I am responding to people who are getting to know me through my tweets.
This is such a new medium. Everyone is getting their feet wet at the same time and we are learning new limits. Recently, there was another post by Wesley Fryer - Deciding Who To Follow on Twitter.
There are a lot of things to consider. A lot of what we teach about Internet safety, privacy, and the difference between face to face interactions where you can read body language and vocal intonations is starting to come to the surface in Twitter.
Overall, I hope it will continue to flourish. I know it is an important part of my newly formed personal learning network. Thank you JenW for giving everyone food for thought.