Using Twitter for News

When I heard screams in my office from the World Cup, what did I do?  When Michael Jackson died, how did I find out?  When LeBron James was making his big announcement last week, where did I go to find out?  Did I turn on the television for all of these things?  Did I pick up a newspaper?  No and no.  I simply opened TweetDeck and waited for everyone to tell me in real-time.

Recently, TweetDeck surpassed 15 million downloads.  And that is not even the only platform to send tweets.

Everyone always discusses how social media has changed our lives, but a lot of the time I do not think about it too much.  Our generation was raised on social media, so it seems like a regular part of my life.  But when did I start turning to Twitter for breaking news?

When we did not have water for days in Boston because a pipe broke, I constantly watched Twitter for updates about when the water would be safe to drink again.  I keep track of the Trending topics to see what is going on in the world.  I would not have seen the Harry Potter trailer if it had not been a trending topic.  Twitter is the new way to get immediate news.

George Steinbrenner recently passed away.  I found out about the news on Twitter when NY Daily News broke the story.  At first, I did not believe it, and I waited to see the other news outlets break the story in real time before I would trust this source.  The same series of events happens every time one outlet breaks a story.  It is a constant race for news outlets to get the word out via Twitter like it has never been before.

So the big question is, how do YOU get your news?



Twitter, Tweet, TweetDeck

As part of our Public Relations Student Society of America meeting, we had a Twitter seminar.  Even though I feel that I have a good handle on Twitter, I learned so much today.  I learned Twitter vocabulary, such as RT (Retweet), which means to repeat a Tweet.  We also went through using a “#” sign.  For example, if I am talking about a particular topic, such as “Boston University,” I will type “#BostonUniversity,” and it will become a separate trail of comments with other people who use this same category.  Before the seminar, I knew people used this technique, but I did not fully understand it.

We also learned stories about Twitter leading to job opportunities.  People have shown their expertise in social media by utilizing Twitter and connecting with other people.  If an employee follows your tweets (tweets meaning posts), he or she may offer you a job.  One of our speakers spoke about a man in Malaysia following his Twitter account and offering him a high paying job.

Additionally, companies follow what others say about them.  Comcast and Jetblue both contact individuals who tweet about the company.  This seminar told the story about one man who earned a job with Cision but tweeted about the choice between accepting this job and being miserable and having a hefty paycheck.  Oh the possibilities…

We also discussed Twitter etiquette.  How do you state in 140 characters something that you want to share with professionals, professors, and friends?  Twitter is like speaking in public with everyone hearing what you are saying.

Many people thought Twitter would die out.  How could a website where you can only say 140 characters at a time really amount to anything?  Clearly they are wrong, and it is the way of the future.  Social networking is the way of the future with Twitter at its core.

Finally, for an entertaining video, check out: It shows Twitter at its best.