I've always been a function over form kind of guy, which is why I didn't jump on social media immediately until I found a use for it. I try most everything and I have to admit that Twitter has been one that hasn't quite come into focus yet. But it started to this morning.
My old business partner, Scott Seiden just took the plunge into Twitter and started following me. He an I began a direct message discussion over the relevance of Twitter as a journalistic source of information. He didn't get what the deal was and felt a little foolish talking about what he was doing. I sent him a few people to follow, like Richard Wallace and Brian Dipert, and then he asked if I thought that was journalism.
This morning I replied that I didn't consider it a replacement for journailsm, but a supplement to... or a filter for.
That's when it hit me. The most important use for Twitter is a filter for information that we find important. The extremely terse messages, combined with brief URLs require the writers to get right to the point, eschewing obfuscation (marketing hyperbole) and come across with the one most important thing to communicate. If they can't get that done, they lose me. And I don't have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what was said and whether I think it's important.
It's much more efficient than email spam filters or newsletters and I can connect more easily than I can through email or bookmarks.
This doesn't eliminate the usefulness of traditional media, websites, blogs or email, but it helps me order the flow of information better.
I knew I'd figure this out eventually. Thanks, Scott!
Now if I can just figure out how to get paid for this knowledge.