My first thousand tweets

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After breakfast I switched on my laptop. I went into Twitter after checking the huge success (or indeed lack of it) of the popularity of this blog. My next port of call is always Twitter.

I look to see whether I have gained or lost any friends overnight and lo and behold I had lost two! (the trend..and of course trend is the in word these days of data, data, data…is upwards though.. so I can afford to be sanguine about the loss of these followers).

I then looked to see who was tweeting at that time… with my following of 380 people (it’ll probably be about 400 + by the time the odd person reads this old blog entry as a chance encounter in August of this year) I get a lot of tweets coming in at a pretty regular pace… and there are of course the multiple tweeters who seem to have nothing else to do all day but send tweets… if I had the time and energy that these people show I could have been naming this article my 5000th or even 10000th tweet!

I found a few tweets to look into as I usually do and one in particular opened up a few minutes of research involving the inevitable Google, Wikipedia etc.,

It was only when I went back to Twitter again to get an update on my Home Page that my eye caught the statistics to the right of the page which gives the number of followers, the number of people that I follow and directly above the number of tweets that you have sent… and there it was the number 1000!

Wow… I hadn’t been looking at this statistic for a long time… I just sent tweets, or increasingly, retweeted the tweets that I received. I am an active member of a brilliant educational network called #edchat and on a Tuesday afternoon (London time) I join in an online discussion which means that I send tweets and retweet a lot in the course of an hour of hectic discussion on important educational issues.
For the rest of the week I tend to be quite conservative with my tweeting and browse Twitter from time to time to keep up (especially first thing in the morning as I referred to above). I don’t send too many tweets (if you look me up on Twitter I’m @malcolmbellamy and they’ll give you a statistic that I send a certain number of tweets per day… which must average about 5 a day based on the fact that I’ve been actively sending tweets for about 6 months now and I’ve sent 1000)

Oh and I forgot, I also have a link to wordpress.com so that every time that I do a blog entry, like this one, they send a tweet to all my followers in the hope (sometimes a very narrow one) that they might just notice it and then open and look at my blog post… so that of course has added quite a few tweets… notwithstanding the tweets that I send myself about my latest blog posts in the hope that if they missed the wordpress.com tweet then they’ll hopefully notice my tweet sent through TBUZZ or Hootsuite.

All in all I have been a very active Tweeter these last six months. I hope that someone out there has gained something from the tweets that I send. Every now and again I get retweeted and therefore have proof that someone is actually reading them and even feels they’re significant enough to pass on to their followers.

One of the key points about Twitter is that it is a powerful network, I have deliberately chosen those who I follow and know that most of the people who follow me have done so for similar reasons. I tweet about what matters to me, which is education because I am a teacher and am passionate about educational change and also the threats to this caused by testing and the growing demoralisation of my profession both here and in the U.S.A. (where a large number of the people I follow and who follow me come from). I also follow my football team Tottenham Hotspur because I always have and I follow certain people who I find inspiring for one reason or another (even Barack Obama although I have my disagreements with some of his policies particularly in education). Every now and again they send me tweets that I feel I want others to know about. I must admit that, contrary to the received wisdom at the time of its issue, I really like the retweet facility that Twitter gave us, it makes my life so much simpler than just cutting and pasting as I used to do.

So here I am, I have sent 1000+ tweets and it has taken me just over six months. I now stand at 381 people who I follow, 372 people who follow me and, during the course of writing this post I have received 27 new tweets that I will now be going on to looking at… some of them I will ignore… one may lead to a line of enquiry (via a hyperlink as always) and some may be so significant that I will retweet them… so there is the basis of what will no doubt be the start of the next thousand tweets… maybe I can report back when I get to the 2000 milestone!

To those who do follow Twitter… Happy Tweeting!

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