January 28th, 2008
What am I doing? Well let me tell you …
By Ron Sylvester
I’m not the last person to start using Twitter – it just seems like it, as the micro-blogging, breaking-news information network just keeps growing. I joined Twitter several months ago, with Ryan Sholin’s encouragement. But I didn’t really use the account until the past week.
Frankly, that little bird scared me.
Twitter is like Facebook fueled by text messages. Imagine being able to send and receive text messages all over the world to everyone at once. Scary, especially for a man approaching 50. What do you mean: “What are you doing?” Why do you want to know? Why do you care?
Then I heard stories about how Californians were using it to track the wildfires and later how the Bhutto assassination spread on Twitter. Ah, real news stuff amid all the chatter.
Last week, I began posting my own Twitters, and connected to friends I’ve made on-line, at conferences and through this blog. I also signed up for NPR news updates, NewsBreakingOn and the New York Times updates.
I watched the returns of the South Carolina primary.
You can find plenty of help getting started, including I found Nico Luchsinger’s “Why Journalist’s Should Use Twitter” and Shawn Smith’s “Ultimate Guide to Twitter Resources and Tools for Journalists.”
Journalists have reported getting news tips from sources and even help with interviews. I even see some potential for investigative pieces, watching it unfold in small increments as the reporter digs deeper into the story.
And there’s quite a discussion going on in the “New to Social Networking” and “Story-Telling Innovations groups on Wire Journalists. Oh, yeah, join that while you’re at it.
I know, I know: more social networks to join, more web sites to check. But this is where our readers are going. Let’s go with them.
If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s free, and I use it on the go from my mobile phone.
Add me: rsylvester.
Then start Twittering your life away.