“Directory of (E-)Learning Professionals on Twitter”

Tony Hirst’s post on eduTwitterin’ alerted me to “Jane’s list of “100+ (E-)Learning Professionals to follow on Twitter” which has subsequently been renamed “Directory of (E-)Learning Professionals on Twitter”. Tony mentioned the staff at the Open University of the list (Tony himself, Martin Weller and Grainne Conole). These are all people I know and follow on Twitter, so I thought I would see who else was on the list. I was surprised but pleased (I think) to see myself on the list.

I had wondered if something was going on with Twitter after receiving an recent influx of email messages announcing new people who were following me on Twitter. My first tweet after finding myself on this list was to acknowledge that people were probably following people (and others on the list) in the expectation of reading something special. So my first tweet was:

Pressure now on for insightful edu-tweet. Hmm. Thinking of going to Raven to see Joley Rowan http://bit.ly/yFyR7 Will that do?

It’s my space after all :-) And it was about 8pm on Monday night, when I was torn between going to watch music in The Bell and The Raven, two of the music venues in Bath I live to frequent. 

I have added a couple of the people who have started to follow me recently to the people I follow, but these were people I either knew or people whose blog seemed of interest to me.  And I may stop following people if I feel I don;t gain any benefits from their tweets.  I guess the point being that there will be a limit to the size of one’s personal twitterverse.  But as well as the size of the network and the number of posts, I think the effectiveness of Twitter is based on the nature of the communications within the community. Whether having a list of 100+ e-learning professionals to follow is a good way of building a community I’m unsure about.  Buit on the other hand, there is a need to start somewhere.  I’ll give some thought on how I feel one should start to engage with Twitter in a subsequent post.


  1. I’m also slightly skeptical about how useful this is. What is the point of it?

    OK, so if I want a directory of people who may be tweeting about e-learning (or possibly about the pub) – but as you say, is there a community here? Is there any quality – i.e. are they saying interesting things?

    We could view this a bit like an OPML file (like the one recently created for the (JISC)Repositories community). For blogs this can be incredibly useful because you can import the whole file into your reader, and prune back from there. However, there isn’t (afaik) an equivalent for Twitter – so I’d have to follow these people one at a a time. Also, in general OPML files are used to share reading lists – so, I can import the stuff that you are reading, I know you and know our interests and views overlap somewhat, and so anything you read is likely to be of interest to me. This doesn’t seem to be the case with this list – i.e. there is no ‘recommendation’ element?

    I know some people follow many many people on Twitter – but I don’t use it that way. I’ve found I need to prune who I follow for the good stuff not to be hidden by noise from others. I’m currently up to following 96 people (after pruning back to about 60 a few months ago), and I’m starting to wonder if it is time to prune again.

  2. Hi Owen
    Your comment that we can regard this directory as having similarities to an OPML file reminded me that in Tony Hirst’s blog post on Edutwittering Tonyt describes how he “put together a Yahoo pipe to produce an aggregated feed [using] Jane’s edutwitterers pipe“. Clever things are possible, as Tony has demonstrated. However,like you, I question their relevance to the ways in which you and I make use of Twitter. Which is not to say that there might not be other ways in which Twitter could be used which might benefit from tools to aggregate and filter content.

  3. Re: other ways in which Twitter could be used – see my comment on your ‘live blogging’ post…



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