Back in May, when I wrote for the high school newspaper, I wrote a column discussing Twitter at a great length. The column came as the result of several students dismissing Twitter as a “Facebook ripoff.” I’ve had my Twitter account since February (I believe) and had found several practical uses for it, such as news sources being able to get information out to the masses quickly.
In my column, I wrote this:
KCRG, KGAN, KWWL, the Waterloo Courier, Cedar Rapids Gazette and Des Moines Register all have accounts on Twitter. With this, a news story can have a link put up and maybe the title to entice people to read the article. It’s like a breaking news alert online. In addition, the three news stations I mentioned all have Twitter accounts for their weather teams, which can be used to put tomorrow’s forecast up or a sudden weather alert.
Not only can news sources use Twitter to get information out there immediately and maybe find out reader’s opinions, but the government can use Twitter to inform people of news. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using the website to keep people informed about swine flu developments.
There I suggested that Twitter could be a news sources as used by news agencies and the government’s tweets. My closing paragraph said this:
Try tweeting and maybe see how nice it is to have news updates and find out about real things.
My general hypothesis was that people would eventually use Twitter as an actual source for information. Maybe a bit too much, as we have seen with celebrity death rumors. But as you can see with what’s happened with Iran, with people using it to get the word out about what’s happening there; the U.S. Department of State using it as a source, it kind of proved my point.
When I write opinion columns, which I really love doing, I don’t expect people to agree with my opinion, or for me to predict something and actually be right. I even received quite a few comments of “You’re nuts” and some laughter upon people reading this column. I was very flabbergasted when I found out that major news agencies were using Twitter as a news source for what is happening in Iran.
I would also put a link to this article, but it is not online. Maybe I could scan it, but I’m not sure if I could do that. I could provide a link to an article I wrote on classical music recordings, but that wouldn’t be relevant to this. Which is a shame, because I’m sure someone would get a kick out of my picture, which is of me wearing a suit, dress shirt and a tie.