(Originally posted on McCoyDerek)

By Derek McCoy

This recent article on Vox.com caught my eye about the CEO of Twitter – Twitter’s CEO is stepping down. Here’s why the company’s in trouble.

twitterimageIt was an interesting read about popular social media site. I was drawn to it because Twitter makes me think of connected educators and our learning experiences. Twitter is how many of us connect, and its the reason many of us are the educators we are today. Everyone who has taken the dive to be connected educators, via Twitter, is better for it.

twitter-cognitive-spectrumThe article outlines industry critiques about Twitter – which is ironically the same issue we have in other industries like education, such as the lack of ability to innovate like similar products/companies. I haven’t done deep research on this topic so I can’t speak to the market research given here, but when you read the points of how other social media platforms have adopted to users needs and preferences and the essential components of Twitter have remained the same, you have to give some validity to the concerns about the static timeline, design layout for ‘power users’ and of the other features.

After reading it, I was a little saddened because Twitter was the tool that helped improve my thinking and practice as an educator. We still work hard to get other educators to connect on Twitter and grow their practice. What if some small changes on the front end would help beginners/new users see the value and dive deeper into its potential? Naturally, as an educator, I’m thinking of the education field and what can be done. I can’t say if other fields are diving into chats and professional development explorations like we are but what better group to help others realize that potential. So I made the rational leap – a connected educator should head up Twitter!

I think if that happened, we would see several immediate, powerful changes:

  • Rebranding – We would see a serious effort to rebrand Twitter and highlight lots of the features educator have come to value. The picture to the right is what you see when you log into Twitter – if you are a connected educator think of all the things you do right now that are above and beyond what’s described in this tagline. There is great opportunity here to showcase and highlight some great potential from the onset!
  • Bring back Tweetdeck, FULLY! I thought its was a great move when Twitter acquired Tweetdeck. There weren’t a lot of Twitter-client options then but it was a powerhouse, offering connections and links to different social media. To me, the greatest feature was the mobile app – awesomeness at its best! I have never stopped using Tweetdeck for my chats since I first logged on Twitter but I also use other clients for other features because of limited mobility options. When we bring new educators to Twitter, one of the eventual conversations that comes up is using a client like Tweetdeck. Here’s a chance to revamp, enhance and relaunch. Make it a go-to reference.
  • Do a better job of recommending/helping us select new people to follow! There is so much more potential here than the 3-5 mini-bios we see at the top left of the screen. Show me some hashtags/chats I may want to follow; get with Jerry Blumengarten, @cybraryman1, and start an index of the popular chats across different industries.
  • Do some internal product promotion on how to utilize Twitter as a tool for lifelong learning, professional development and personal growth! Incredible opportunity here!

I’m sure we will see a talented individual take the helm and do great things. A connected educator would bring a great perspective to a potential new evolution of Twitter.

Derek McCoy is a 2014 National Digital Principal. He shares his insights on his website, McCoyDerek. Follow Derek on Twitter at @mccoyderek.