I’ve recently had several discussions about the idea of having multiple Twitter accounts for different purposes. For example, I’m an e-Learning Contact, so maybe I should have a personal and a professional account. Or, if I were teaching in a school, maybe I want a teacher account for “classroom” tweets and another for professional learning. I could also have an account for running, or photography, or hairstyling (jokes!), or any of my other interests.
But I don’t do any of that, and so far I’m happy with this approach. I have one account which I use professionally and personally. I carry on open, publicly-accessible conversations with people from all over the province and even further abroad. Most of these are professional. Some are personal. And, best of all, some are both.
There are good reasons to want multiple accounts; I just don’t think they apply to me right now.
I don’t want to bother anyone. I don’t want to fill anyone’s timeline with “useless” stuff. I hope that the highly dedicated, serious educators on Twitter aren’t irritated by the occasional tweet about my kids or my coffee. So, I don’t tweet a lot of frivolous stuff. And the “frivolous” things that I find funny or interesting that I take the time to tweet are often interesting to other educators (see here for an example). So, if you find my casual, irregular inclusion of non-Ed stuff irritating, feel free to unfollow. I won’t be hurt. I don’t follow everyone either.
Other Formal Roles
Right now I’m just an e-Learning Contact. I don’t teach in a school, I’m not the leader of a community organization, I don’t tweet for a lot of other purposes. If I was tweeting for the knitting club, I might create a separate account just for that. If I had a classroom to work with, I might create an account for that too.
But I think I probably wouldn’t. Instead, I think I’d prefer to use hashtags to separate out the conversation. You don’t need to follow anyone on Twitter if you’re just following hashtags. For a great example, check out @ColleenKR’s #niprockart hashtag for her Visual Arts students and Nipigon-Red Rock High School. I can see #grasleyMath or #SHCVSmfm1p or something down the road.
Our Non-Education Lives Are Awesome Too
I find the personal things people share to be far too interesting to want them separated out. I want to see what everyone wants to share, and engage with them on it. If I tweet something, I’m intentionally broadcasting it to an audience which has selected itself. I’ve thought about whether it’s worth bothering you about, and I’ve decided it is. If I really want you to see it, I’ll mention you. If I want to see a particular kind of conversation, I’ll search for a hashtag.
In any case, let’s talk. I’m @bgrasley, and that’s all. For me, Twitter’s transparency is a large part of its value, and I’m still exploring it.