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The second guest blog post about social media and online communications predictions for 2009 is by John Breslin: The two tools that I’ve found most useful for sharing information online this year would have to be the "Twi-ns" (non-identical!): Twitter and Twine.
John Breslin is a lecturer in the College of Engineering and Informatics (Department of Electronic Engineering) at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He leads the Social Software Unit at DERI, the world’s largest Semantic Web research institute, and established the SIOC project for interlinking communities via semantics
’ll talk about Twitter as my "favourite social media tool of 2008" and share some details of Twine, describing what I hope to use both tools for in 2009.
Twitter, the world’s favourite microblogging site, is great for getting a snapshot of what’s going on/interacting with your community or communities of interest. It’s a bit like what we had a few years ago in terms of Irish blog aggregators, where you could scan the headlines of all Irish blogs and have a feel for what was going on at a particular point in time, except on steroids.
One of the advantages of microblogs is that people can talk about a greater range of things, since they are more likely to talk about a variety of diverse topics in multiple microblog posts that are limited to 140 characters as opposed to a writing a longer single blog post (that would look ridiculous if only 140 characters were used!)
A disadvantage is that the momentum of Twitter is now such that you have to keep checking back much more regularly to be kept up-to-date with everything that’s going on or to find those hidden gems of information or knowledge.
If you are subscribed to a few hundred people it makes it difficult (impossible even) to see all that is relevant since even the most interesting microbloggers won’t be talking about stuff that is interesting to you all the time.
My Most Significant Learning In Relation To Online Engagement And Communications In 2008 I really like Radar Networks’s Twine, the "knowledge networking" application that allows users to share, organise, and find information with people they trust.
My Predictions For Online Engagement And Communications In 2009 On the Twine site, I think that there is great potential in the community aspects of twines. I hope that these twines will act as "social objects" that will draw you back to the service, in a much stronger manner than other social bookmarking sites currently do (due to Twine’s more viral nature, its stronger social networking functionality, better commenting, and a more identifiable "home" for these objects).
Of course, having more public users will also help Twine now that it is out of beta, but from experience I know that it was a good idea to do what they did and build on a core group of regular users (in Twine’s case, mainly techies) before increasing their user base too much.