Last week I gave a talk on “Virtual Space for All: The Opportunities and Challenges Provided By The Social Web 2.0” at the CILIP Wales, Welsh Libraries, Archives and Museums Conference 2009. The organisers, Mandy Powell in particular, were keen on building on the success of the amplification of the recent CILIP2 open meeting by encouraging exploitation of the conference’s WiFi network though use of Twitter with the conference tag ‘
#cilip-cymru09‘. Although the numbers of twitterers were small I thought it was interesting to observe and reflect on the ways in which Twitter was being used and the possible benefits it can provide as usage grows.
Jane Stevenson of the Archives Hub, MIMAS, University of Manchester, was the main conference twitterer. As can be seen for the accompanying image, Jane provided a running commentary of the talks (in this case my talk) with, on a number of occasions, links provided to the resources being described, such as the link to the National Library of Wales community wiki at www.ourwales.org. What we have here is potentially an accessibility benefit, provided by the textual transcript of a talk.
In contrast a tweet by BeccaDavies, who chaired my session which asked “have we ritualised our reasons for not allowing access to web 2.0 – can we remember why? #cilip-cymru09” provided me with a new insight into my talk (a talk online topamax which I have given on a number of occasions recently). Have established a number of unthinking reasons for not engaging with the Social Web? I’d not thought of it in those terms before.
Bob McKee, CEO of CILIP, in his introductory comments for the panel session, suggested that as well as the physical space provided by libraries and the virtual space which I described, there is also an internal space, where the learning takes place. A tweet by MartinNHW commented on this remark: “#cilip-cymru09 Bob McKee – re Martyn Wade: space between our ears – echoes of JG Ballard’s inner space – as well as physical and virtual“. Afterwards I heard Bob remark that he hadn’t made the connection with JG Ballard’s ‘inner space’, but seemed to welcome this analogy. Again we are seeing how Twitter can provide differing perpectives on a talk, which can help enrich the learning for others.
We are starting to see a number of posts describing experiments in using Twitter in lectures, such as Where for art thou Twitter? on the Classroom 2 blog, and The Twitter Experiment – Bringing Twitter to the Classroom at UT Dallas on the Kesmit-ing blog, Classroom idea: Twitter note-taking on Steve Outing’s blog, and Embracing the Twitter Classroom on the Huffington Post. We’ll be seeing much more of this, I suspect.