Saturday, June 27, 2009

Adopt THIS Technology: The Perils of Twitter (An Opinion)

I love twitter as much as the next professor. However, I am quite skeptical about providing specific real time updates for my readers. I caution my students and friends against posting tweets like, "Going to Mom's this Weekend" and "Going to Spring Break in South Padre".

Two weeks ago, I read an article in the Houston Chronicle (from an undisclosed location by the Houston area :) ) titled, "Do 'I'm on Vacation' Posts Pose Security Concerns?". I was alarmed by the fact that someone's house was bulgarized because of the real time tweets that someone posted from their vacation spot in Kansas City. Here is a small exert from the article:

Like a lot of people who use social media, Isreal Hyman and his wife, Noell, shared real-time details of a recent trip on Twitter. Their posts said they were "preparing to head out of town," that they had "another 10 hours of driving ahead," and that they "made it to Kansas City." While they were on the road, their home in Mesa, Ariz., was burgularized.

Hyman had over 2,000 followers on twitter and "he thinks his updates tipped the burglars off" (Allen, 2009, G9). As a result, I am quite skeptical of posting any twitter updates (tweets) pertaining to my current location. In addition, any tweets that I post to twitter automatically go to my facebook account as updates for my 450+ friends on that website. I have met about 90% of my friends on facebook in person, but not on twitter.

The day before this article was published, I decided to protect my twitter updates and my "follow list". As a result, I have to give permission to my students to have them follow my twitter updates and they have to give me permission to follow their updates.

I continue to use the twitter assignment that I posted last month and it seems that more students are interested in this new type of social media. I cannot wait to see what the next new social media application will be in 2010. To maintain a strong awareness of social media, I follow Jane Hart from The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) on twitter and I read her daily RSS feed -Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day.
In addition, I add her website suggestions to my account -

If YOU have any technology suggestions, PLEASE let me know. I love technology and I try to remain at the forefront of social media adoption.

Have a great weekend!
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