An ugly duckling of twitter

I joined the ranks of twitter recently but I feel more like I quack rather than tweet! It was fun at first to post what I was doing or where I was going but then I realized twitter is much more than just social. I decided to use twitter to increase my knowledge of accessibility and started searching for, finding and following folks in the accessibility field. Many of these are people I already know and I was relieved that they wanted to follow me, as well. I have already found some great folks to follow to keep me up to date on new a11y developments as well as users of all sorts of assistive technologies. Certainly twitter can be a great learning tool!

However, my problem lies in learning to tweet. I wonder how and where these folks find all the interesting things to tweet about? For some it is things they learn at conferences; for others it is the daily frustrations of using an inaccessible Web, for many it is sharing knowledge from their daily work. I, however, seem to fall short. Even when something interesting gets delivered to my mailbox I don’t seize the opportunity! For example, my colleagues in the Human Ability and Accessibility Center just released a new version of AccProbe – a tool for examining and testing Web sites for accessibility. I got an email, as did others in a subscription list, but I didn’t even think to send a tweet – someone else beat me to to it! Right now I am working on the dojox DataGrid code to make it more accessible. While I could probably tweet on the details of the DataGrid code, I’m not sure many folks would be very interested in the JavaScript details! Maybe I don’t spend enough time surfing or checking my RSS feeds, although I certainly don’t seem to have extra time in my day to do any more Web crawling. Then, I thought, I must just waste too much time on other non-work stuff but, I don’t think that is it either – after all, one must have some balance in life.

At any rate, this post hasn’t contained all that much about accessibility – other than I’ve found a new tool to keep me up to date in the a11y world. I guess eventually I’ll learn to tweet better or else I’ll just have to enjoy the benefit of learning from the wonderful songs of others!


About Becka11y

Web Accessibility Architect at IBM. Have worked on various open source projects including Dojo, Apache Cordova/PhoneGap, and Readium

One comment:

  1. Oh, but you can tweet about AccProbe even though someone else already beat you to it. Maybe they merely announced it. You can add the angle “Did you know that with AccProbe you can….” or whatever comes to mind. I also think repetition is key on Twitter. One tweet gets lost in the millions of tweets. Re-tweeting a tweet (this does pervert one’s language!) spreads the word to a larger and larger audience.

    I sympathize with your dilemma. I see so many great tips and links that I end up re-tweeting a lot – because I am so eager to share the news with others. I also want to be original so I don’t sound like a – uh – parrot, to show that I have thought about the re-tweet and am not just forwarding things recklessly. I feel shy about what I can contribute personally, and at some point, I feel I cannot tweet more that day for fear of chasing away followers who feel too inundated with my tweets!

    It is really exciting to see how much accessibility is being discussed “out there” on Twitter. I started with @stcaccess in the beginning of November. It is an incredible learning, network-broadening, conversing experience. As @iheni said today, Twitter is giving a channel of expression to “people who are otherwise not heard and not just *names*.”

    Have fun!

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