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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Transitive Property of Twitter


For those of you who are not math teachers, the transitive property says the following:
 
On Twitter this translates in two important ways…
  • If I find value in following @trescolumnae and he finds value in following @ThinkThankThunk, then I will find value in following @ThinkThankThunk
  • If I find value in reading what @PontusHiort tweets and he finds value in writing a blog, then I will find value in reading @PontusHiort’s blog
Knowing these two things is important to successfully building your PLN when you are first starting out on Twitter.  As I have come to realize since my last blog post, getting the most of Twitter is not about following a substantial number of people (or having a substantial number of people follow you), but about the number of substantial tweets written by the people that you do follow.  Of course, often tweets of substance are simply sound bites previewing the truly beneficial information or conversations.

In today's busy world, the attraction of 140 characters is that you can weed through which sound bites appeal to you.  I often find that I don't have time to read the entire post or watch the video in full when I first see the tweet.  Therefore, I favorite the sound bites that I think might be helpful or interesting.  Later (often on the weekend) when I have a larger chunk of time, I follow up on them.  This includes reading articles and blogs, trying out various apps, and following up with reactions and questions (either via Twitter or comments depending on the number of characters needed).  The great thing is that this leads to more social media math the symmetric property of Twitter...
  • If I contribute helpful ideas, links, resources, and feedback to the users that I follow, then the users that I follow will contribute helpful ideas, links, resources, and feedback to me
I wish that mathematical properties applied to aspects of my life outside of Twitter.  Imagine if the symmetric property held true for relationships…
  • If I like Bradley Cooper, then Bradley Cooper likes me. 
My love life would be so much easier! 

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