I wanted to share an idea I had today.
I've been studying Japanese for about six years now, and am always thinking about new/different/fun/etc ways of studying. Recently I read an article written by a college professor talking about how he used Twitter in one of his classes, and got some pretty good results out of it.
In case you don't know what Twitter is, it's a relatively new (came out summer 2006, I think) instant messaging-ish service. Instead of sending messages to your friends in your contact list, you publish what they call "tweets," which is basically akin to the "status message" thing MSN and other IM services use. This is broadcast to all the people on your list, and they can respond with their own tweets, or (not sure about this) maybe they can actually directly message you.
Honestly, I first heard about Twitter about a year or so ago, and thought it was a goofy idea. Most people just use it like so:
12:00: wondering what I should eat for lunch
12:03: decided to eat a big mac
12:05: man this big mac is so good
12:35: uh oh indigestion
2:23: watching tv and regretting that big mac
and such. But that article got me thinking-- I'm sure everyone here has some kind of question/etc swirling around their heads at any given time-- "what does --- mean," "how do I use ---," etc. What if people actually posted questions like that, and everyone else tried to answer them? The tweets are limited to only 140 characters, so that precludes any big questions (e.g. long grammar explanations) but still, better than nothing. I figured it'd be a good way to share questions/answers/musings/etc.
Anyway, today I signed up for the heck of it, and it turns out there's a Japanese twitter group on mixi, and a surprising amount of Japanese using it. There's even some guy who posts Japanese news headlines-- the 140 character limit forces him to use a lot of Kanji, which I think'll serve as good practice, plus help me keep up on news.
I'm working on getting my other Japanese studying friends on board (all two of them) and figured I'd share this idea with you all and see what you think.
Please let me know what you think, and of course feel free to add me.
Twitter's site: http://twitter.com
Twitter client list: http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Apps
You need to get an account at twitter's site first, though. Twitterific is good for Mac, and TwitBox seems like the best Windows client. Linux clients are listed as well, and there's various web clients that you can use via keitai or your favorite browser.
My twitter site: http://twitter.com/ajishiosean
Japanese, general discussion on the language
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