Sunday, February 14, 2010

What are those @ signs and websites in your Facebook page?

A friend from college asked the following question in Facebook email.

“Hi Anne, It's good to see you on Facebook. I am somewhat new to this. I look forward to checking out your profile. I must admit your status updates are interesting- although I cannot figure them out. Is is some kind of work code or just lots of acronyms. Why all the @ signs and websites? Hope all is well!”

My answer is:

I have been using Twitter, Facebook, etc. and been blogging since early 2007. Though there is some obvious separation, I find that intermingling my work and personal life works well for me.

My Twitter messages are automatically sent to Facebook.

The @ signs indicate that I am replying or referring to other messages in Twitter.

RT stands for Retweet. Someone in Twitter sent a message. I retweet it which means I am forwarding to my friends on Twitter because I think it might be of interest to them.

The web links are usually small urls (I use because web site addresses are often much too long to include in the Twitter 140- character limit. The small urls are very helpful, not only in Twitter, but also in email messages.

I have to admit that I struggle with the decision to limit Twitter messages that I send to Facebook because I know it is overwhelming to friends, like you. My kids, and some friends, tell me that they often don’t understand most of my messages. Part of the reason is that they do not use Twitter or they are not part of my work communities: higher education, research, Cooperative Extension, distance education, agriculture, family living education, open source, or social media. I am trying to decide to limit the Twitter messages to Facebook. 

My land-grant university colleagues are just as likely to read and use Twitter messages in Facebook as they are in Twitter.

In Facebook, you will also see my bookmarked websites (, my presentations ( and photos (

Not all my Twitter messages are strictly work related. For instance, occasionally, I will share Auburn University good news, kids’ stuff, or something fun.

I hope this explains some of my Facebook news feeds. If you find them overwhelming, you can hide my newsfeeds in Facebook, but still keep me as your friend. But, of course, I would rather you did not. Tags: ,,

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