Twitter is the newest face of media consumption; it allows us to follow celebrities and feel connected to them, find out what our friends are thinking, and express our own thoughts (140 characters at a time, of course). Oh yeah, we can get news headlines or something like that, too.
That last thing, about the news, is probably one of the most overlooked features of Twitter, but it’s a resource that those strapped with time should utilize. The days of sitting down in the morning to read the newspaper before work are long gone, for many of us at least. I know the things I savor the most are the 5 minutes in between snoozing my alarm, so getting up extra early to read day-old news is just not a top priority for me. Of course there is always internet news, but it can be tough to find time for that too. The best way I have found to consume the news media is via various news organizations' Twitter feeds.
Admittedly, following a few different news outlets on Twitter won’t give you every detail of the day’s news, but what it will give you is a good look at the important headlines. From there, you have the option of reading the article attached, or moving on through your feed. I have found, for the most part, the Twitter news cycle gives you the ability to learn about the talking points for your daily water cooler talk.
The ability to pick and choose who you follow on Twitter is very beneficial when you’re looking outside the social applications of daily Twittering. A good sampling of the feeds out there:
- New York Times @nytimes
- The Associated Press @apnews
- Google News @googlenews
- Reuters @reuters
- CNN @cnn
- Fox News @foxnews
- MSNBC @msnbc
- Al Jazeera English @ajenligsh
Of course, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of other news outlets you can follow on Twitter to get your daily headlines and breaking news.
One detail that I have intentionally left out is that the Twitter news cycle is really only an effective way of getting your news if you (like many of us) are a smarthphone user. There are many useful apps for Blackberry, iPhone, Droid, etc. that allow you to setup your Twitter feed on the go. While I find Twitter on my Blackberry very useful, I can’t quite understand the purpose of a web-based account. First, it doesn’t seem to accomplish much in the way of interesting ‘what am I doing now’ type tweeting (you’re sitting at your computer, how interesting can that be?) and secondly I just can’t wrap my head around yet another web-based social networking site. So if you, like me, are a smarthphone user on the go without much time for the news, Twitter is a great way to catch up on the day. If nothing else, you can see what mundane thoughts are going through the mind of @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher) and catch up on some good @TFLN (Texts From Last Night).