How have you used twitter to collaborate?

Tell a story about how you have used to collaborate. Please indicate the context as well (I.e. in a K-12 classroom, in a virtual team, etc.) Towards the bottom of the page, there are two additional sections: one on "I wish Twitter could do this" and Queries about application of twitter in various contexts. Maybe you have a question or an answer!

As background What is Twitter?




  • Using a twitter network - project twitter on screen in F2F event. Ask a question out to the network. See the (FAST) response. FLESH OUT THIS STORY.
  • Find job candidates.
  • During a power outage, use mobile Twitter to coordinate information about the nature of the outage and the availability of internet cafes in the area with power for the team to reassemble.

Using twitter to get feedback throughout a conference
We set up a twitter account for a recent young people/youth work practitioners conference and asked twitter to turn on auto-following. We got over 1/2 the delegates to follow our conference account so we could ask questions throughout the day, and we encouraged them to text in feedback, ideas, comments, inspirations. We were projecting their tweets onto the wall in the main room, and showing them on scrolling rss-tickers on all the other presentation projectors. It gave us a really useful 'gut reaction' form of feedback, that massively complements the evaluation form feedback - and allowed us to adapt parts of the event on the basis of instant feedback. Blog post reflecting on the process

Similar, vibrant use of Twitter during the Google OpenSocial press conference. Michael Krigsman at ZDNet calls it the hidden press conference.

How to Use Twitter Micro-Blogging for Translation Project/Capacity Availability

Using twitter as a virtual water cooler.
I work from home, and my colleagues are my collaboration buddies, clients, colleagues. Twitter is a great way to keep up with what is happening, so face-to-face meetings get up to speed much quicker. Blogs work the same way, though they tend to contain a different set of content.

Inviting people to collaborate -
A twitter pal of mine asked about how to convince school administrators that using tools like twitter can be useful. I replied that sharing stories of useful application and value might help. So I set up this wiki, then sent a twit out to invite others to add their stories. And within minutes, there are stories! Nancy White Full Circle Online Interaction Blog

More collaborations...I too have made collaborative connections on twitter...I skyped Vicki Davis one evening to see if she could do a skype demo...she was busy...put out a twitter....and got Jason Hando to join our skype chat...He not only did a demo for my skype session, but helped during a web2.0 tools workshop I was presenting.
Several weeks later...Jason (who I was now following) twittered about a flashmeeting...I saw his twitter...asked about flashmeeting and was invited to demo a really powerful learning tool. For me Twitter was the best professional development tool of the summer (Kristin Hokanson, The Connected Classroom)

Instant Collaboration (You Don't Even have to Add Water) real time suggestion (in space of minutes) were folded into a presentation by Rob Wall (Twitter Mediated Co-Presentation) - picture at

Serendipitous Discovery - It was via a tweet from Vicki Davis that I discovered her Flat Classroom Horizon Project that was built on NMC's 2007 Horizon Report. As a result, I got involved, and was amazed at what students in 5 countries could show us for collaboration ( And twice in one week "HeyJude" in Sydney, referred me via twitter to 2 very useful web tools ( Alan Levine, cogdogblog

Call for Suggestions - Better than email as there is an echo chamber effect- people you may not know chime in with ideas when you ask for them out lout. A few weeks ago, we used both twitter and an email list to compile a list of "Hall of Fame" type people in the field of New Media - Alan Levine, cogdogblog

Serendipitous Improvement -- A colleague in another state reported proudly on Twitter the purchase of a cellular modem for their laptop. I let them know I recently done some research on them and that one from another vendor was significantly better, and recommend that he return it before the 3-day return policy expired. He picked up the new cell modem, confirmed that it was indeed twice as fast, and returned the first. Christopher Allen: blog, twitter

Dissemination of Publications and Materials - I have used Twitter to post links to our grant deliverables as soon as they are published online. Twitter friends with more followers then post the link and it is quickly spread to hundreds of people.
Jennifer D. Jones, injenuity

Product Recommendations - While in the store, I've posted to Twitter by phone requesting recommendations for products. I've received instant responses to help make purchasing decisions.
Jennifer D. Jones, injenuity

Locating Original Sources of Ideas, Quotes, Etc. - I have seen people post partial quotes, descriptions of theories, ideas they've heard somewhere, pieces of presentations, fleeting memories, and Twitter pals have responded with the original sources.
Jennifer D. Jones, injenuity

High Speed Tech Support After spending weeks preparing for 3 workshops I was giving at an international conference (Alan November's Building Learning Communities in Boston) I had one day at home in Winnipeg to finish them. Then my laptop had a major meltdown; I was to catch a plane early in the next morning. My twittermates came to my rescue and helped me recover the data in real time.
Darren Kuropatwa, blog: A Difference, twitter:

Live Real Time Database I was giving a series of workshops in Denver. A group of people in the workshops were interested in using scratch in their classes in a variety of ways after I had described it to them. Problem was, I couldn't remember the name of the software (scratch). I tweeted a vague description of what I was looking for. In less than 60 seconds I had the name along with a link to the web site.
Darren Kuropatwa, blog: A Difference, twitter:

Global Presence and Participation in Professional Development While giving workshops I had a screen and projector set up displaying my twitter account using twittercamp. We were chatcasting the workshops at the same time. I tweeted what I was doing and the skype ID of colleagues who were participating. People from various locations around the globe came into the workshops via skype and made excellent contributions sharing their expertise and valuable links.
Darren Kuropatwa, blog: A Difference, twitter:

(Another example, captured in some screen shots, from Nancy when in Bogota, Columbia)

Fostering Professional Connections The principal of my children's school was considering using a blog as a communication tool for the school. He wanted to see some examples of other elementary principals who were already doing this. I tweeted a request for links to exemplary elementary principal blogs. Got a list of 4 excellent ones in minutes. I emailed him the results.
Darren Kuropatwa, blog: A Difference, twitter:

Informal Research - On several occasions, I have used TwitterPolls to get instant feedback about issues facing educators. After asking whether specific web sites were blocked by schools, over 30 people responded in about an hour. Perfect for getting some authentic results in a very short time, to either verify other research or letting you know if you're on the right track.
Steve Dembo, Teach42

Web Conferences "On-the-Fly" - People tweet links at the start of virtual conferences. If you are available, you can join. This enhances productivity because you aren't scheduling around it. You aren't sitting around waiting for it. You attend if it fits!
Jennifer D. Jones, injenuity

Finding and Polishing, rather than "Reinventing" the Wheel - I needed to complete a trends analysis on virtual worlds in a short period of time without becoming fully immersed in the technology. I followed Twitter users and discovered their projects and research. I was able to use what had already been accomplished, rather than spend hours and hours of my own time learning the technology.
Jennifer D. Jones, injenuity

Group Stream of Consciousness - I find that Twitter gives me a "feel" of the group. I can tell when in aggregate we are frustrated, or when we are in the flow. I can see memes flow from one otherwise disconnected colleague to another. Christopher Allen: blog, twitter

Assistance with Obscure Research Task - A colleague "friended" me in Facebook over a year ago, I accepted because we both work in the same firm but never communicated with him. Fast forward, I now link Twitter to Facebook feeds, and left a frustrating meeting last month twittering (paraphrasing): "new task: conduct root cause analysis for KM problems! Absurd!" Facebook friend notes update, sends note: "I prepared a paper on that topic during my dissertation, shall I send you a copy?" There is no other way we would have connected, I knew nothing of his background and he knew nothing of my interests until we met over Twitter. This week, I'm peer reviewing a client presentation for him. twitter


Examples from others:

Using Twitter to help improve and maintain the interactions from the various social networks you belong to - Been using Twitter for a few months now and, if anything, it has helped me tremedously in keeping in touch at the same time with the various social networks that I am a member of, so much so that those interactions sparked the creation of "10 Reasons Why Twitter Will Help Improve Your Already Existing Social Networks". Luis Suarez

Using Twitter as a people-powered search - Courtesy from Web Worker Daily: "Try Twitter Instead of Mahalo for People-Powered Search". Luis Suarez

Twitter invites seasoned bloggers to comment on new blogs during a workshop.
This summer during our workshop, as people were trying out the whole blogging thing, we had discussed how validating it is to have someone else comment on your blog. (Students feel this same validation, BTW) Bob Sprankle and I both twitted our circle of friends and within minutes people in the workshop were shouting out I got a comment from Wales, from Illinois... immediate reinforcement. Thanks Twits!
Cheryl Oakes, blog,, Bob Sprankle, blog Bit by Bit

I use twitter to remember flash of ideas that comes to me (almost) daily
I use twitter to remember flashes of ideas that come across me so sudden everyday. Twitter allow me to capture those ideas before it's forgotten. Later on I can "recollect" those ideas, and through "twitter list" I can see how the ideas formed in the past, how it linked to ech other, and what can be done next to turn it into something useful for business and society. In a way -- for me -- twitter is the enabler for rapid recording and rapid storing of snippets of ideas, that one day -- once it is being collected and organized together -- could perhaps turned into something useful and powerful for everybody. Arvino, ps: If you'd like to know some useful twitter command, you can take a look here.

A group of (mostly London) twits recently had a spontaneous game of Mornington Crescent pointing to the potential for other parlour games where a move or turn can be expressed in 140 chars.

Virtual Teachers Lounge
Steve has found Twitter to be his virtual teachers lounge with his key learning being "There is nothing more important to teach educators about technology, than how to network."

Injenuity gets a job offer


  • Biz Stone via the Twitter Email Newsletter:
  • Jott, has created a way to send a Twitter update by speaking into your phone–your voice gets converted to text and sent out to all your followers. This is a much safer solution for people who insist on updating Twitter when their attention is required elsewhere–like driving!
  • Twitter by Voice and more Twitter Apps.
  • Rhea” - Skim for links. They are often only used for passing news, as an action alert or resource grabber. It’s worth 5 seconds. Rhea Drysdale
  • andybeal” - I tweeted that I was looking to hire a new blogger and found Janet - so I guess Twitter followers are a good job pool
    Andy Beal
  • TDefren” - Mix it up: share news, pontifications, reaction, blog posts. Aid in others’ discovery & contribute to the conversation. Todd Defren
  • SebastianX- Often Twitter sends folks to new stuff way faster than RSS, and it’s a persistent link, valuable despite the tinyurl/nofollow crap, as long as you promote your profile a little. Sebastian
  • graywolf” - Use the twittertools plugin to automagically post new blog entries to Twitter. Michael Gray
  • trishussey” - Connecting your blog feed to Twitter and posting events and breaking news. Twitter is a great way to announced time-sensitive events like radio shows, etc. Combine with Twitterbar for Firefox and you can post right from your address bar. Tris Hussey
  • bhartzer” - Like a lot of other services, it’s important to add or follow other people first and then most likely they will reciprocate. Find your favorite twitter profile and view who they’re following…and follow them. Follow people and they’ll (hopefully) follow you. Also, when editing your profile on twitter, you can add more than one link in your profile. Turns out that http: link URLs are treated as links. Bill Hartzer
  • PeterHimler” - Fun to follow thought-leaders and journalists who often tweet their forthcoming thoughts on the site. Peter Himler

Examples of How Having A Twitter Network Would Have Helped

(or what I wish Twitter could help me do...)
• My wife wishes her friends and family all had gmail accounts so they could "see" when each other were online to make plans, chat, or just keep up to date with each other. Twitter would have helped. Darren Kuropatwa, blog: A Difference, twitter:[[]]

Have You Seen Twitter Used For...?

More Stories... Cases
Gardner writes about Twitter - students writing a collaborative story with twitter, 140 characters per offering, 140 offerings per story

Nancy's Twitter Story Tags