I have aggregated the individual blogs of participants onto one pageflakes.com at http://www.pageflakes.com/edublogging/
If you have other blog URLs you want added, just let me know in this forum, and I can add them as flakes to the aggregation. I have also added bookmarks and a blog search flake.
Wire Feature Within ELGG
Within ELGG, I use the wire feature frequently to announce shifts in my blogging activty, and announce new content published with the Academic Blogging Circle, a group I maintain to focus on academic blogging issues and strategies. It is a lot like Twitter, but I need to distinguish between the two, as they serve different needs, and are intended for the most part for different audiences.
I have made this differentiation largely because of my own personal preferences of what I find useful/distracting as content within ELGG. Everyone's preferences differ, and so here are my views:
use the ELGG Wire for 'Internal Community' business
If I find a cool link related to my topic, I add it to my bookmarks; if I know it is of use to a few of my colleagues, I post it to the group as a bookmark. If it is a link of possible interest to a larger audience, I blog it, and set it to a public access setting. The Wire posts relate to shifts in direction, such as a new photo portfolio, or a new series of blog posts, or a new set of files uploaded,or a new poll, all intended to promote the academic blogging group. I sometimes use the Wire to re-promote older content, or promote a link to a research presentation of potential interest to the ELGG community.
I don't use the Twitter in the same way as the Wire. I don't, for example, post interesting links I may find in passing to the Wire; instead, I post it to Twitter only if I do not have the time to analyze the content and I am on the go. Twitter, to me, is a mobile (micro-blogging) app, useful for capturing resources quickly (I cannot help but think of skimming) .
I also send out a general announcement to larger audiences of some of my new blog posts using Twitter, and feed-forward the link to other learning communities external to AU landing. This is done sparingly, as every single Tweet is archived, and viewable by anyone searching using your twitter name (in my case, @ggroulx).
I cannot help thinking about the use of twitter as the more advanced app that builds upon the strengths of both USENET newsgroups and IRC. For this reason, I consider it an extension of the networking capacity that spreads out my social web. On the other hand, I consider the blogs as the information hubs, the repositories, so to speak, to which other content is connected.
In effect, for me, the Wire is a tool within ELGG to announce events relating to the group, or to announce the publishing of significant new content such as my own published papers, presentations, interviews, links to my academic portfolio and the recording of the academic portfolio defence.
Twitter, for me, is intended as both an announcement tool, like the Wire, as well as a mobile blog, to drop content while on the go. I have been watching the ways in which others have been using twitter, and this, for me, seems a reasonable way to add value for those who follow the tweets you create. Like the use of the Wire, the Twitter tweets can potentially benefit others, and so the announcements need to reflect that.