Avoiding Twitter Litter

As of late, I have been mildly irritated by the disadvantages of using social media, namely the spammers and the shameless advertisers. However, because I find great advantages in using the freely provided venue of Twitter for professional growth, collaboration, and networking, I have chosen to endure these with a few strategies to aid in my avoiding such annoyances.

The first is a pretty obvious one to most Twitter users, the “Report for Spam” and “Block User” buttons. When I find that I have a new follower with inappropriate tweets or an @ mention that contains a shortened URL attempting to send others to some potentially malicious location, I am very comfortable using these two buttons to prevent the users, authentic or Spambots, from interfering in my online adventure.

More recently, I have seen spammers subjecting certain hashtags to their filth; one of the most unfortunate of these in my experiences is the ever-popular #satchat. I noticed this morning that a new hashtag, #satchatec had replaced this for some participants. It was not long, however, before this too was being overrun by inappropriate drivel from multiple tweeters with lewd comments and photos of scantily clad women associated with them. My only proposed solution to this is to develop yet another hashtag (which will likely be discovered by followers of popular hashtags who intend to sabotage them) or to develop a keen sense for who the major contributors to the hashtag are to identify who will pose questions and whose views you most want to see expressed. I follow these users to include them in my general Twitter feed. Certainly, this form of filtering will neglect some of the new contributors, but a re-direct to another forum or venue for continued conversation may deter the spammers from pursuing the conversation further. I am particularly fond of TitanPad.com or TodaysMeet as venues for open conversation which can later be referenced.

As for the advertisement disruptions on Twitter, I am willing to encounter these in favor of opportunities to win Twitter contests or to discover some new gadget, and Twitter seems to keep these sponsors to a minimum for the numerous positive elements that the social media giant presents. One or two ads appearing at the top of my Twitter feed does not do much to dissuade me from the wealth of resources I find beneath them. I simply scroll down.

Although I would love to see additional tools provided (which may already exist but of which I am currently unaware) to prevent the static in the Twitterverse, I am quite content with the discernment that I can use to navigate through the tweets and make my own discoveries fairly painlessly. The garbage that makes it into the Twitter feeds is more disturbing perhaps than some of the trash found strewn on the shoulders of a busy highway, and the reporting of spammers takes a little longer to execute than the process of simply picking up items to throw them away, but I am thankful to Twitter that such tools exist to maintain some level of appropriateness for those of us who wish to encounter new ideas without repeated exposure to the same menaces of spam.

Seussial Media Poem

The following is a poem I have written with inspiration from the late Dr. Seuss and my own experienced reservations expressed by colleagues about the use of social media, especially in education:

“Hello, my tech-unsavvy friend,
I have some time I’d like to spend
Teaching you about the Net
You’ll like its uses I will bet.”

“I do not like your Internet,
It makes me nervous and I fret.
I wonder why you like it so.
Please leave me now, and let me go.”

“But would you, could you send a tweet?”

“Not with my hands nor with my feet.
It’s silly and it’s much too brief.
Besides, what’s wrong with my looseleaf?”

“Perhaps you’d rather write a blog?”

“Not even with my favorite dog.
It takes too long; what would I say?
Please just stop now, and go away!”

“Have you considered trying a wiki?”

“And edit a page? That sounds too tricky.
And why would I write on a page
That others could change and fuel my rage?”

“Surely you are on Facebook?”

“Now listen here, and take a look.
I’ve got too many tests to grade.
Besides I’m greatly underpaid.
I can’t spend all my time online.
That is just the bottom line!
I will not Facebook or tweet, you twit.
And I don’t know how…”

“Oh, that’s just it.
Just give me a minute of your time.
I’m sure you’ll find it quite sublime.
Just click and choose a username.
Forget the wealth, enjoy some fame
If others like what you do share.
You’ll find that other teachers care.
Look for a link, or read a post
From someone on the other coast.
You might inspire some, as well,
By what you share or what you tell.
Just try it once, and I will go.
Try it, and you’ll enjoy it, I know.”

“I’ll try it once if you stand by.
Yes, I suppose that I will try.
I click and choose a username,
And now that I’m on, it’s not the same.
It’s kind of nice, seeing others write.
And some post even late at night.
I think I like this edublog, and
I can read it with my dog.
I think I’ll add some to this wiki;
I don’t need to be so picky.
I think I’ll tweet what I just read,
Instead of lying awake in bed.
And if Facebook lets me join this group,
It will warm my heart like chicken soup.
You’re right, this stuff has application.
I might even use it on vacation.”

And so this tale of wonder and worry
Turned out quite well, but you needn’t scurry
To try out every online site.
Instead I think that you just might
Try out one venue for awhile
And if you like them, you might smile.
But if you don’t, we love you too
And appreciate all that you do.

Thank you, educators and educational professionals, for your dedication and commitment to our children. Whatever you do, do not forget about the reason we do what we do, to benefit our children.

My Web Presence – In Need of Updates

As I have been increasingly spending time on Twitter, I find myself with numerous websites in need of updating. Because most apps will allow me to tweet content, I find it very cumbersome to return to websites and editors to update the content on my websites. In a sense, Twitter is my most up-to-date, yet least visually appealing, web presence. Realizing this, I still have a hard time cutting ties with the hours of work that went in to my old websites. Here are a few of my old websites that I hope still contain some valuable links and content (despite my negligence in updating them):

Mr. Fuhrman’s 3×3 (Main Site)

Freesources

Of course, I have a few more than this, but not that have enough to share without some major updating.

My Twitter accounts, however, are fairly current:

@tfuhrman

@LES_Lynchburg

If I do indeed begin to update my websites (which is somewhat unlikely given my intent to blog), I will provide links on my blog and/or Twitter accounts.