I highly recommend this article by Mark Suster titled The Power of Twitter in Information Discovery. This same author has written a piece on Twitter’s use cases, which is also a good read. For those that still think Twitter is about telling people what you had for breakfast, these are must reads. I agree completely with his perspective and use Twitter in a very similar manner.
The first piece of the article is some great history on portals, RSS, and Readers. Mr. Suster than articulates the true value of Twitter:
- Twitter is the ultimate “wisdom of the crowds” Platform in that smart people from all over can point you to valuable content. As the title says, Twitter is a very effective information discovery platform.
- Twitter can drive content viral, including old content that resurfaces and enables content sharing on a large scale.
- Twitter information is real time and quicker than traditional media. People find out about significant news on Twitter before it goes mainstream
- Twitter drives viral adoption of applications. Hooking into Twitter is a common practice for almost every application.
- Twitter is a discussion board. It allows us to follow conversations and get to know people
I admit to being perplexed by Twitter’s popularity at first, but it is easy to see the value when you leverage it the way Mr. Suster describes.