Just another UMW Blogs weblog

I’ve known about the micro-blogging service Twitter for some time now.  Whenever I hear the word “twitter” or “tweet”, or other such word in reference to the online service on a television program, I generally cringe.  I feel that news programs and other media outlets abuse and over exaggerate the importance and impact of new trends frequently, but I am aware of this prejudice and I am able to acknowledge the use and possible importance of a service like Twitter.

In the past, I have used Twitter for various reasons.  During the spring semester, in the midst of the many snow storms and school closures, I had various troubles with my internet connection.  At one point, I was unable to connect to the UMW website, and therefore could not view any updates that had been posted in reference to the status of the university for a particular day.  I checked other websites for this information, but I was uncomfortable relying on unofficial websites as their information may not be the most up-to-date, and some of these sites had displayed conflicting information at one point or another.  After some good old-fashioned googling, I was able to find tweets from faculty and students, who often would use a tag such as #UMW to label their post as relevant to UMW, and was able to have a better knowledge of the school status for a certain day.  On occasion, I have also checked twitter for updates on software or other news related to technology.   Tweeters (How many ways is it acceptable to use “tweet” as word?) I find interesting in this case have been googleio, chromebrowser, and google.  What can I say?  They do some cool things over there at Google.

In class today, we were tasked with registering an account on Twitter and getting a general feel of the communication service.  Since I’m already familiar with how to use the website, I found it easy to sign up and search for information.  As a fan of Stephen Colbert, I found it hard not to become a follower of his account, StephenAtHome.  After completed that task, I went on to searching Twitter for global issuese with queries like “oil british” and “oil bp“, or using tags in queries like “#oil #bp” and “#ash #volcano“, one finds quite a few unpleased tweets.

Thus has been my experience with the micro-blogging service Twitter, a very useful means of communication, information distribution, trend discovering, and news contribution.  This is not to say that in its form and use today that I wholeheartedly approve of its function and purpose, but I see potential and believe it is useful when used in an appropriate manner.  I don’t know who thought it was a good idea for news programs to read tweets during a national television broadcast instead of doing actual reporting or quality journalistic work, but maybe I’m just missing something.

Credits for image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carrotcreative/ / CC BY 2.0

Comments

3 Responses to “Thing 2: Microblogging”

  1. justine on May 20th, 2010 3:03 am

    I have to agree with you that Twitter may have possibilities in the news field; however, the site has yet to be used properly by the majority of society. The fact that news casters read tweets allowed during their programs only further proves that point. Its saddening really that we have this technology in our hands that would allow for news to hit us at the moment it happens, yet we spend more time ignoring the news on these sites and focus on dealing with the annoying hourly, at the least, updates of our friends’ daily routines.

  2. Thing 10: Social Bookmarking & Tagging : chris's blog on June 6th, 2010 10:33 pm

    […] Social bookmarking is a pretty interesting idea.  Share your common thoughts, interests, fascinations, and discoveries — not through discussion, but through bookmarks.  Tag your bookmarks with appropriate terms, search for bookmarks other people have found interesting enough to add to their collections.  Through services like Delicious it’s really easy to both share and find bookmarks.  Instead of googling the entire internet, you can search through specific terms for sites that people have already approved (to some extent).  Some of these “things” I doubt I’ll ever take part in, but this is one that would not be too much of stretch; I don’t think it would cause me to lose any sleep at night (see: Twitter). […]

  3. rmusick on June 17th, 2010 1:22 am

    Interesting words here Chris. I too agree that news programs and the media has shown a large amount of interest with twitter, perhaps too much. It’s cool you used twitter to check out the weather happenings in the area from some of the intense storms that we had at school here.
    I see twitter as an interesting tool for the entertainment industry to use, because following the latest fads and fashions can certainly be a task that leaves you chasing things that can drastically change in a short amount of time. However, I feel that as far as news programs delivering news to viewers, I think news casts about daily happenings should be followed by professionals. While twitter can certainly provide some data about things currently happening, I find it shocking news broadcasters would just read from twitter updates.

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