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Twitter and iMechanica
How many iMechanica users are on Twitter? And how many are on Twitter with professional contacts?
I started to use Twitter about 4 months ago in a completely social, non-professional context. As a personal (expat-focussed) blogger, I started to notice that I was
catching blog posts in my Twitter feed before I would see them in my
feed aggregator (Bloglines). Twitter has emerged as a different sort
of feed aggregator, as well as a provider of information.
But I soon started to find that there were potentially useful scientific links on Twitter. I've got an upcoming meeting with a research colleague, who I met through Twitter, and I think this may be an interesting way to connect with other researchers. But beyond direct interactions wtih individual people, institutions have picked up on Twitter in the past few months. Most of the UK and US funding agencies are on Twitter. Most Universities now have a Twitter feed, as do some departments, including engineering departments . Twitter has emerged as a mechanism for quick and easy dissemination of information--grants agencies are the most obvious in this regard, in that their newsfeeds tend to provide information about current grant opportunities and deadlines. I 'follow' them without needing them to 'follow' me and I don't necessarily expect there to be much communication with them in the form of @ replies or direct messages.
The web is a great source of information, and the best ways to obtain information are constantly changing. iMechanica has been proven to be a useful source of information to the mechanics community; I don't know what role Twitter will have but I suspect there is one, and that it is both different to, and complementary to, the existing role of iMechanica. My personal blog has a link to my personal Twitter feed, and the two seem to have different purposes and different roles in modern web-based communications. My 'professional' website , which is built on a blog platform using Wordpress as a content management system, now has a link to my 'professional' Twitter feed.
If you wish to follow my 'professional' feed on Twitter, I'm @michelleoyen .