At a December ICF conference in Orlando, I noticed a number of attendees wearing buttons that designated them as “Conference Twitterers”. One woman who sat next to me in one session typed fast enough to post most of the key messages the presenter offered during the 90 minute program. I was incredulous. Who was really going to be reading these tweets? If there were tweets being written in each of the scores of sessions, who would really have the time to plug into their messages? I am trying to find a way to be stay current with all of this social media but I keep coming up against a sense of overwhelm when even thinking about it. What do I take the time to read? How do I know which entries will be of use? How do I get myself organized so that I’m not getting lost in the volume of possibilities?
In his article, Why Twitter Will Endure, New York Times writer David Carr suggests we consider Twitter as a river of data flowing past us and that we can dip a cup into it now and again for a drink. Sampling the river can be enough. The trick is to build a sample where you can start drinking. I’m discovering that collaboration can be a way to create this sample. The NSA blogathon which Jackie Dishner has initiated gives a place to start. Sometimes having a clear idea of where to start and others as companions for the experience are all we need to jump into a new territory. Already I’m feeling less overwhelmed.