Breaking News: On Twitter

This week South Carolina got caught in the “winter mess”, meaning we had three days off of school. There was much anticipation each day about whether or not we would have classes. The university set up a website where students could check for weather updates. Many people, myself included, however, did not use this website. I verified all rumors about weather closings on Twitter. Unless the university’s official Twitter had tweeted about it, it wasn’t real. This made me think about how I use Twitter as my news source in general. It seemed a bit odd to think about at first, but I definitely use Twitter to get my news. Not only do the many friends and celebrities I follow keep me updated on major local and world news, like snow storms and Shirley Temple’s death, but I have started following several different industries for updates. I attended a Social Media and the Workplace seminar last semester, and they introduced me to the idea of following professionals in various industries on Twitter. It turns out that there is an expert in just about everything on Twitter. By following them, you become privy to their knowledge and they usually share many articles about their areas of expertise.

For example, I like to know what is going on in the professional theater world, so I follow Howard Sherman, a very successful theater administrator and producer who was the Executive Director of the American Theater Wing from 2003-2011. His Twitter feed is everything from theater-themed hashtags to tweets about his life in Manhattan. Most of his tweets, however, are fascinating articles about technology and nonprofits, upcoming shows, and the state of the arts.

An excellent selection from Halloween

An excellent selection from Halloween

Another great resource I’ve found is College Tourist, which has an excellent Twitter feed. They are a group of bloggers, many of whom are college students, and they write about everything travel related. It is great to read about other students’ experiences and they always have relevant advice.

One writer took a trip to Zambia!

One writer took a trip to Zambia!

I usually want to read way more articles that people have tweeted than time for a quick scroll through Twitter allows, which lead me to download a great free app called Pocket. I highly recommend it for your smart phone and desktop computer. It saves articles and webpages as a reading list, and I have found it to be super convenient. That way, when I am walking to class and I see an article titled “Dumped Wife gets Revenge with Musical about Divorce”, I can save it to read at lunch. The combination of an app/website to store a reading list and steady stream of cool articles on my Twitter feed has helped me become much more informed about industries I am interested in.

My Pocket reading list

My Pocket reading list

Twitter’s list feature also helps me keep different industries and topics on my Twitter feed organized. I make lists for travel, food, theater professionals and businesses I follow. I am always looking for new professionals, organizations, and industries to keep up with. Who do you follow? Do you use Twitter as a source of news? Do you use anything to keep tweets and articles organized?

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