Thing Four: Current Awareness – Twitter, RSS and Pushnote

Posted: July 17, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

If blog posts needed abstracts then the abstract for this would simply read:

1. Twitter – yay

2. RSS – useful but can never stay on top of things

3. Pushnote – what’s that?

I first signed up to Twitter in 2009, when I saw how incredible it had been as a communication tool during the riots in Iran. I struggled to understand why Twitter was so popular, though. As a committed Facebook user, I just saw Twitter as a series of status updates, without any of the other tools Facebook offers. The sparseness confused me.

I don’t know how it happened, though, but I gradually began to see the use of Twitter after a while. I followed a couple of LIS friends and looked to see who they followed, and then who those people followed etc etc. It took me a while to get over my Twitter shyness (Twyness? Twame?) and start tweeting strangers. But, having a connection such as an interest in library-and-information issues is all the link you need.

I see Twitter as a classic example of “you get out what you put in”. It’s tempting, and very easy, to be an observer on Twitter – but the true value only becomes obvious when you start communicating yourself.

I began using Google Reader as an RSS reader last year when I began the Oxford 23 Things programme. I have never really got into the mindset of using this to follow blogs though, as I find the amount of information overwhelming. Every time I click through and see the number of unread blog posts, I just become demoralised. I find Twitter an easier way to find good, relevant blog posts – either through links tweeted by the blog’s author, or through links tweeted by others who have found it useful.

I had never heard of Pushnote until I came to this Thing.  I found this article on TechCrunch a good overview of what Pushnote is and what it does. I duly signed up for a Pushnote account on Firefox, then spent a long time looking for a webpage that anyone had actually commented on! It’s an interesting tool and I will think a bit more about whether this could be useful. I just think that, if you want to share links, a tool such as Twitter or Delicious might be more appropriate and better designed.

I was also concerned to read, in a more recent Techcrunch article that a website’s owner cannot remove any of the Pushnote comments linked to their site. If Pushnote users flag up scams etc, then this is a useful feature. Worryingly, many comments might be false or malicious.

In essence, I’m glad I now know what Pushnote is, but I don’t think it offers anything new. If a critical mass of web users begin to comment, though, then this may change.

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Comments
  1. I think it’s great with a caveat. My wife has just loaded it on Firefox and can’t find the Pushnote click box – useless without it. The upgrade with favourites box has made it better. Less realtime than Twitter but more manageable. Stick with it. See my note here: http://www.donkinonwork.blogspot.com/

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