Twitter – yay or nay?

4 03 2009

Some love it, some hate it and some don’t quite get it. Twitter.

Twitter

While I was reading the front section of the Spokesman Review this morning, I came across an interesting opinion story concerning Twitter. Leonard Pitts Jr., the writer, basically said Twitter offers no informational value nor does it advance human communication.

For those of you who don’t know what it is, Twitter is a micro-blog service – you are allowed to fill up to 140 characters in a single “tweet.”

While Pitts takes the nay position in his article, there is one flaw in his position. The crux of his whole argument lies on the position that Twitter is social media tool used to let others know what the user is merely doing. 

Yes, there are users who tweet things like “I just ate the most fatty burrito and I want to barf.” But the options Twitter has to offer are so much more than the mundane factoids of someone’s everyday life (the “25 Random Facts” phenomenon)

In a spectrum of the different types of tweets in regards to informational value, the one listed above would fit onto one end. On the other end of the spectrum would be some sort of breaking news. 

Many (including me) use Twitter as a tool for news aggregation. I read something that is interesting or something that I think others should know, I will share it. Some use it as a live feed for certain events (i.e., the Inauguration). Twitter, in many cases, can be used as the ultimate form of on the scene breaking news (i.e., when a plane crashed into the New York Hudson river, many tweeted as it happened). It is far more than just a social network tool.

Twitter has been one of the most pervading social media tools considering Twitter’s short history. Most organizations and  companies (NY Times, CNN, NPR, Jet Blue etc.) have their very own twitter. Politicians, celebrities and athletes all have their Twitter page. Most likely, you even have one.

Whether you like it or not, it says something when senators are tweeting it up during Obama’s speeches.

More opinions
Six benefits of Twitter.
USA TODAY story on the negative aspects of Twitter.
Stuffjournalistslike.com’s funny commentary on Twitter.

What are your thoughts?

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