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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

My Twitter Strategy

Small world networks It's a year now since I made the decision to create multiple Twitter accounts in order to try to bring some order to the various Mini-Mes which inhabit the internet. It wasn't an easy decision to take and it hasn't been easy to get my head around my own identities, but one year on, some semblance of order is starting to emerge, so let me explain how and why:

AJCann is the account I think of most as "Me". It's also my highest traffic account and the one I prefer to use for "real people" - i.e. people I actually know and talk to face to face. But it's also "Education Me" and to some extent, "Geek Me".

AlanCann is intended to be "Science Me". Why do I need this extra identity? So I don't put off science-focussed individuals who don't want all the edu-chatter. The snag is that people get confused between this account and the previous one, which is quite understandable. Which Me are they talking to? Which one do they want to talk to?

MicroBytes is the account for MicrobiologyBytes.com. At the moment, it's still a bit broadcast-y, but hopefully will become more conversational with time.

DrCann is the account I use to talk to University of Leicester undergraduates. Reasoning that some students may be put off by the content and volume of some of the other Mes, this is actually the account which spawned all the other Mini-Mes. With this account I have all the problems educators face when talking to students on social networks. Am I stalking them? Are they stalking me? Where do we draw the lines?


So how do you manage multiple Twitter identities? With difficulty. Using the right tools helps. I'm a huge fan of the multiple-account enabled Twhirl, which is easily my favourite Twitter client, but Hootsuite is quite good too. The real problem is time, and to some extent quickly getting my head around the right identity when I'm engrossed in something else.

Sigh. the internet is such a complicated place. Or maybe it's the me's that's complicated.