What do you use Twitter for?
I remember when I first heard of Twitter, I thought it was just another new instant messaging service (think ICQ, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype etc.), joining the already crowded market of IM services. Now that Twitter is 5 years old, the full influence of the service is slowly beginning to be understood. Not many 5 year old tech companies can make a star-studded ad like that.
Now, whenever there is breaking news, my first source of information would be Twitter. Updates on traditional news sites like CNN and BBC seem to take ages, compared to the near-instantaneous speeds that information travels on Twitter. Sure, not all the information posted on Twitter is reliable but since when is that the case for any source of information? It simply means that I perk my ears up a bit more when I read the news on Twitter but I believe that only serves to improve my own critical analysis on the reliability of information I come across.
Besides keeping updated on news, I also use Twitter to follow experts in my domains of interest. Photography, web design, mobile technology, entrepreneurship…the list goes on. Now, instead of having to click through thousands of websites to look for all these information, they simply show up on my Twitter stream, helpfully shared by people who deem the information useful for others. I have probably learned more useful things spending 30 mins going through my Twitter stream than I have from a day at university.
What do you think? Am I overstating the usefulness of Twitter? If you’re not using Twitter, why are some of the reasons you don’t think it is useful?