I NOW EXPECT first year (freshmen) students to learn how to use Twitter effectively as a communications tool. Because I have the support of an accrediting agency, I can use two semesters of academic time to impose Twitter on some people who might otherwise ignore it totally. I can understand the initial hesitation ("Why read all that meaningless nonsense?") so I respond with use cases ("Hashtag your continuous assessment and it's graded faster.") I think there's some value for Twitter as a short form communications tool and I also think Twitter deserves to be valued at more than one billion dollars. I draw my conclusion after mulling over Wikipedia's definition of the “social graph” and after reading several student essays about how Facebook has distorted the value of that social graph. There's a lot of social interest wrapped around Twitter's public timeline and anyone who has used powertools (i.e., Radian 6) to probe Twitter's social interest graph knows that the tweets and turns of 140 characters can really make a difference in the effective reach of a campaign, a meme or an activist movement. I want creative multimedia students to appreciate these subtleties so I am imposting Twitter on newbies right after they get registered for internet access at my third level college.
More on the social graph.