Twitter

Have you noticed the new bar on the right hand side of this page? I’ve entitled it, “Twitter”, and it list some very short posts about random stuff that I’ve been doing. If you’re a Facebook friend you’ll see the same list on my profile page, above my Wall. You can see the same list on my Twitter page, at twitter.com/samuelwebster.
So what is it? This YouTube video explains it far better than I ever could:

I’ve known about the idea for a while, but after chatting with the Swansea and Gambia students after the recent Wales Africa Links conference I started to think about ways in which these guys could keep in touch. They’re on two radically different continents, but are forming friendships that they want to maintain as their education and careers progress. New students want to make new friends, and students want to know what happens in medicine in the two different countries.
In Wales we have fast, reliable internet connections. In The Gambia most internet connections are slow and unreliable. Emails and blogs could be a way to keep in touch, but can also take up a lot of time. So what else is there? In West Africa mobile phones are far more common that landlines, and possibly more reliable. How can we use that?
I signed up with Twitter to try out the service and the idea. I’m already used to posting all sorts of crap on this blog, so Twitter wasn’t too scary. It’s much easier to use than a blog though. It’s very simple and instant to setup, and it’s incredibly quick to add to as you can send texts from your mobile phone (which costs no extra than whatever your phone provider charges). You can receive updates from your friends that you follow on your mobile phone if you wish, or on a web page. You can follow many people, and invite people to follow you. Could this be the way to form up to date links between The Gambia and Swansea? I’ll put it to the students and try to get them signed up.

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