Confessions of a tweeter / Confessions d’une twitteuse

Cathy Malcolm Edwards, RIR – Carleton

Cathy Malcolm Edwards, Research Facilitator, Institutional Initiatives at Carleton University and member of RIR, talks about her introduction to social media and the twitterverse. 

Cathy Malcolm Edwards, coordonnatrice de recherches au Service des projets universitaires de la Carleton University et membre du RIR, raconte son initiation aux médias sociaux et au monde du twitter.

Cathy Malcolm Edwards“Hi, my name is Cathy Malcolm Edwards and I am an introvert.” This thought often circles through my mind when I am in group settings or facing a long day of back-to-back meetings. At the start of my journey into the world of knowledge mobilizing (I am a relative newbie, entering the world in May 2013), I thought this truth might be a barrier to being truly effective in this role. Then one day, my colleague, Kyla Reid, introduced me to social media, specifically the twitterverse.

You might be thinking to yourself “Cathy, it is 2013! Where the heck have you been living? Myspace has been around since 2003 and Facebook since 2004?” Well, while the rest of the planet was jumping in to the virtual world of social media, I was proudly in my cocoon rejecting every “You’ve been invited” email that came my way. At the time, I didn’t see the benefits of social media. It was just one more social event – another thing that I would have to get done and keep updated. I was a hipster, too cool to engage in the platforms of popularity. Oh, how wrong I was.

I am not saying I am a full convert per se and I still do have my hipster attitude about a lot of things (including Facebook), but I am also not too proud to admit that I am enjoying my time spent on twitter in particular. I love taking a few minutes each day to read posts and connect with the community. I often come across something that encourages me towards introspection or gives me an “aha!” moment. My introvert is quite satisfied. I can socialize in my own way, on my own time, and in digestible chunks. I have discovered that social media can be my friend, not my enemy. It allows me to connect and converse with the amazing community around me while nurturing my curiosity and quest for knowledge. I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery @mobilizethat.

One Response to “Confessions of a tweeter / Confessions d’une twitteuse”

written by bonniezink On 1 November 2013 Reply

A belated welcome to the Twittersphere (or Twitterverse) to you, Cathy. I have been on Twitter since 2009 and spent a long time wondering whether I should jump into the Twittersphere. I watched. I listened. I read Tweets. I did not share. I did not contribute to the conversation. I did not engage. It took quite a while before I saw the point.

“What is the point?” you might be asking yourself. The point is to connect, to share, to engage. It occurred to me that these are also the points of knowledge mobilization. We connect knowledge producers to knowledge users. We share resources and best practices with one another. We engage (this used to be referred to as talking to one another). The truly amazing and magically aspect of doing all this on Twitter is that we do it all in 140 characters or less.

I adore Twitter and I hold a special place in my heart for each one of my Tweoples. I live on Twitter. I share knitting tips. I help people connect to each other. I talk a lot about what’s going on in my life at any given time. (Did I mention that I am a knitter? Yes, knitting is KMb – check out @KMBeing ‘s knitting & KMb posting,

I am also an introvert. I am not really all that social. I avoid large crowds, unless absolutely necessary. It takes effort to turn on the social-in-person Bonnie. Twitter has helped me overcome that. I control what I see. I control who I talk to. I control how much or how little time (and when) I spend on Twitter (or any other social for that matter). Here’s where the magic happens: I have a sense of control and my true me can now shine…on Twitter!

The magic doesn’t end there, though. Twitter allows us to start relationships with anyone we want. I spent a very long time watching and listening to @researchimpact (land a whole lot of others) on Twitter. I got to know him through his tweets. I learned about what he did, how he did it, and why he did it. I found a few points of similarity and soon came to realise that he would a perfect mentor for me. The time came when I began to join the conversations he was involved in. I became more and more comfortable and began asking questions. This led to a more personal relationship where I invited him to speak at a conference and, in 2012, we had the pleasure of finally meeting in person.

You see, Twitter is just a starting point. It always leads to magical moments where we can continue the relationships we begin in the Twitterverse. There is always a next stage that pays off. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from @researchimpact and other knowledge mobilizers in 140 characters or less.

Give Twitter your all and your rewards will be awesome.

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