What’s the deal with Twitter anyways?

I began using Twitter last summer when I was working on my book.  It was  a good way to express random thoughts and for some reason helped me organize my ideas while writing.  Once I got back to school and my life became ridiculously busy again, tweeting was not a priority on my list.

However, after being forced back into it for class and learning more about how it can be used as a tool for journalism I have now realized there are benefits to Twitter.

So, what have I found that makes Twitter a valuable asset to my career as a journalist?  After doing some readings on Mashable and Poynter here is what I have come up with…

  • social networking capabilities–it’s a great place to get a lot of info from seemingly limitless sources
  • by using hashtags you can follow stories and see up-to-date commentary on what is happening
  • it is great for news gathering–by following a few news organizations reading breaking news is as simple as checking out tweets
  • it can be a place to pose questions for stories
  • or a place to pose links to published work–by doing so you can further expand viewers to your various webpages
  • you can say whatever you want
  • it is a place to simply share your thoughts–something I love to do when I have something good on my mind

Once you understand what Twitter can do for you, you need to follow people who will help you meet those needs.  I think it is good to follow a wide range of people and groups.  One, you get a good mix of tweets when you look at your homepage, and two, you get much more information about a wider variety of things.

Taking those two under consideration I follow around 40 people with my top 10 being as follows:

  1. College Humor–these are the guys who started Twitter and they post some hilarious stuff
  2. Magnum Photos–being a photographer it is good for me to be following this major photo group
  3. NY Times–I read the Times everyday and when I am too busy to sit down with the paper their tweets are a good substitute
  4. Rob Dyrdek–guy from Rob and Big (old MTV show), I follow him because he’s funny and I miss the show
  5. Albany Student Press–I try to stay current on my local college news and this is the easiest way to do so
  6. teamvella–Charlie Velazquez, a friend who I find funny
  7. NPRpolitics–I used to always listen to NPR and I find this a good transition
  8. Pepperlive–Pepper is a band I like and I am waiting until they tweet that they will be doing a show near me
  9. m_squared13-Matt Murnane, a friend whose writing style I really like
  10. atompkins–Art Tompkins, a journalist for Poynter  who helps me stay current with national news

As you can see I like people who are funny or have something at least semi-important to say.  For a time I only followed news organizations, but it was just too much to take in.

I still wouldn’t consider myself an avid tweeter but it is slowly becoming part of the routine.

Oh and hey, follow me bridget_joy.

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