A month of blogging and two weeks of being on Twitter and I'm still realising how much information is out there and working out how to take advantage of the useful stuff while sharing links/info/ideas that I think may interest others.
After a working life as a journalist where the conversation is mostly one way - from you to your readers, with the occasional sop to dialogue in the form of a letters page - the babble of voices on Twitter hits you like a shock. Signing up feels like going to a party where you don't know anyone and you're nervous in case you make some awful social gaffe. Then you discover a couple of people you know and meet some more interesting contacts. Then you're hooked.
I signed up initially because it's impossible to research how journalists are using Twitter (part of my research into changing journalists' working practices) unless you experience it yourself, start following people and see how they're using the network. I didn't appreciate how much people were using tweets to post links to their own pages or blogs, for example. I didn't know how many journalists were on there (lots, as I now discover, using it to collaborate on stories and get contacts).
It takes time to develop an online voice and continue the conversation. Some of the content on Twitter is dross and you have to sift through it to find interesting nuggets of information. Blogging regularly is also quite time-consuming, as is reading and commenting on other people's blogs. The more time you spend online, the more you know you have to check out. I probably spend a couple of hours a day blogging, checking out other people's blogs and watching Twitter. Is it worth it? Definitely. Will I keep it up? We'll see, when the new semester begins in September and my sabbatical ends.