Since my first post for HASTAC is so late to make its appearance, I thought I should write about another way in which I've been late to the party: I just joined Twitter this past week. Since I consider it important to maintain a healthy amount of skepticism about, well, just about everything - my Significant Other calls it my "eternal pessimism" - I was a proud Twitter holdout before I joined this past Wednesday. The more popular Twitter became, the more everyone talked about it, the more Ochocinco tweeted from the sidelines, the more anti-Twitter I became. I took Twitter at their word: the name, after all, means chirping or chattering inconsequentially like a bird. I had just accepted Facebook into my life; I couldn't understand how exposing myself to (what I saw as) even more incessant chirping and chattering could possibly be to my benefit. Even last year as I helped work on Transliteracies' Research-oriented Social Network (RoSE), I still remained quite skeptical about the academic virtues of social media. However, after some cajoling by a few colleagues this fall convinced me I at least needed to see wfhat this whole Twitter thing was all about, I reluctantly signed up. Within a few hours, I was hooked. Why didn't anyone ever tell me how wrong I was about Twitter? In my short time on Twitter I've found a rich and exciting community of folks interested in digital media and the digital humanities. I've followed interesting discussions on archiving social media, kept up with the happenings of the Nebraska Digital Workshop (good work, Rama!), and learned all about THATcamps. I already feel connected to lots of smart people who have interesting things to say about what matters to me.
Of course, all of you already know about all that. I realize that blogging about the virtues of Twitter on HASTAC is a bit like wandering over to an observatory and extolling the virtues of telescopes, so please excuse the wide-eyed stare of a new convert. As I said, I'm often late to catch on. Twitter may not be built to save the world (then again, it isn't built to not save the world, either), but so far it has succeeded remarkably for me where other social media have failed: I actually feel connected to a social and a scholarly world.
I am excited to be a HASTAC scholar this year, and many thanks to Rita Raley and Alan Liu for nominating me. I look forward to much decidedly not inconsequential chatter.