For the past year I have been telling people that I learn more from Twitter than from any other resource. The reason is because of the insightful comments and the host of links to other resources like articles, blogs, reports, videos, research, etc. Most of the learning isn’t in the 140 characters themselves, but in what they point to.
For this to work, you need to follow insightful people who can point you to resources you would never discover on your own. Start with a few key people and gradually increase the number of people you follow. Follow some of the people they follow. Create lists of followers grouped by some topic area that binds them together, and focus on reading the tweets on a list if time doesn’t allow for reading everything.
What brings me to the lesson for today is my experience the past two days at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. The most valuable thing in the goodie bag given us at registration was a little pocket guide of all the sessions scheduled. Every session has printed in the guide the twitter hashtag for the session. For example, the hashtag for the session “Your Brain on Multitasking” was #SXmultitask. With dozens of sessions going on simultaneously, it is impossible to attend all you want to attend. So what do you do? Search Twitter after the session for the hashtag of the sessions you missed. I promise you will still get the main takeaways by doing this, although you certainly miss out on the detail and conversation around the topic. Still, it’s a way to attend without attending.
That is incredibly powerful, and it is fortunately becoming the norm around the globe at gatherings large and small.
If you do not yet use Twitter in this way (or at all), then you are missing out on the most powerful learning tool/resource/environment anywhere. It’s a game changer for learning and I hope so-called learning professionals “get it” and embrace it before the rest of the world passes them by as irrelevant.
Leap year lesson #69 is Twitter is the most important learning resource on the planet.