When I signed up for Twitter, well, however long 1,150 tweets ago was, I had no idea it was going to be such a big deal. Now only are you not cool if you don’t have a Twitter, but you’re also not ready to face the impending doom of real-world journalism without it.
You don’t have to sell me on the Web site. I know my hash tags, my bit.lys and can RT with the best of them. But among the “trending topics” on Twitter at this very moment are #takemehome, Gossip Girl and #tmobilesucks.
…Yeah, THAT is social media at its finest.
Furthermore, according to Mashable, Rutgers professors did a study aimed at analyzing the content of over 3,000 tweets by more than 350 users. Tweets were characterized into categories ranging from information sharing to opinions/complaints, but the results concluded that 80 percent of users are “meformers”–people just chattin’ it up about what’s going on in their lives with their feelings, friends and thoughts.
You know what, I’m sure T-mobile does suck. (Sprint sucks too, it’s OK.) And I’m not going to click on the Gossip Girl tags because I missed the new episode tonight. But didn’t Robert Gates just tell Christiane Amanpour that we’re not leaving Afghanistan? We don’t even have to go that big–didn’t Letterman cheat on his wife? I’m not sure what it says when enough people incorporate their phone company into a tweet as to create a trending topic.
We’ve been shown the benefits of using Twitter and other social media to their fullest potential. But will the disparity between its different utilities make it a sustainable tool for journalists? What are your experiences with Twitter—can the useful aspects outweigh the trivial turnoffs that may arise?