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I’ve been a Twitter lurker ever since the University of Mary Washington Faculty Academy this last summer. Lately I’ve been watching Laura and Barbara and a few others chronicle their progress in preparing for the ELI Annual Meeting and my anticipation has grown every day that I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked to get ready. (Obviously bonding is more important than sleeping–ala Chris Dede–when it comes to sharing with their ELI colleagues.)

I’d been watching my Twitter friends largely through the widget on my Netvibes page, but I decided this might be the time to enable Tweets the SMS on the Treo. When the plane landed in Atlanta, the phone started buzzing right away–I had updates from a whole host of folks all traveling to San Antonio. I couldn’t help but think that even a few years ago this kind of real time, automatic updates would be the stuff of a Mission Impossible or Delta Force movie. (The impression is highlighted by the screen names–TechFoot, CogDog, GeekyMom.) Here we a group of academics heading off to the southwest to figure out how to use the technology to fire up students’ imaginations rather than blow up a bridge or assassinate some terrorist.

Now that we’re here the Twitter community is back in full swing, adding a new dimension to the already rich networking of the event.