Whither Twitter?

How many people have found the twitter hype for librarians to be overbearing as of late?  Many blogs in my feed reader, including ACRLog, The Shifted Librarian, and Tame the Web have recently featured posts and comments about the social media app, which is admittedly a great tool to use.  (I suppose I’m only adding fuel to the fire by talking it up the hype in this post, too.)

I like Twitter, but I’m not yet convinced of its ability to properly promote libraries, organizations, entities, or whathaveyou.  I’ve found that the twitter accounts I follow which don’t specifically identify themselves as a person tend to overload my stream with endless data, or have the look and feel of (possibly disingenuous) PR.  They often don’t stay long in my stream, as I stop following the accounts in favour of people who talk about their work in and with libraries instead.

So I briefly tweeted my local LIS Social-Media/Tech expert for his thoughts on the matter.  Ryan Deschamps said it best when he replied that it’s “better to have a rep selling the library on Twitter — not a library trying to sell its reps.”  Twitter works best when real people are giving their own, individual opinions on a topic.  Let the librarians speak for themselves on Twitter, which will in turn promote the library’s programmes, tools, and assets.  This is a far better way to build community than to invoke a PR campaign with the tool.