Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is Twitter Taking Over the World?

When I joined Twitter in September, I had no idea what to expect from this new application.  I honestly didn't really understand the point, and I kind of felt like a stalker (or that I was inviting people to stalk me).  I quickly learned more useful ways to use it than just following people I had class with (ie: communicating with professors, keeping up with articles and blogs posted by PR professionals, etc.).  However, I couldn't have imagined how much Twitter would have taken off in the coming months.

Last month, the first image of the U.S. Airways crash to go public was from a Twitter user (coincidentally from my hometown, Sarasota, FL).  Since then, I have read countless articles about how traditional news sources need to change their business plans in order to keep up with "citizen journalism" and social media outlets.  Is it only a matter of time before social media websites make print news outlets obsolete?  

This morning, I read an article on CNN about doctors tweeting during surgery.  (Seriously?  I don't know about the rest of you, but if I'm being cut open I would like to have the full attention of the doctor on me, not on a computer screen.)  This is another example of social media beating out the traditional media - doctors can let followers know in real time how successful a particular procedure is.  Followers included medical students and other doctors in addition to simply curious readers.  Could Twitter one day replace classroom learning??

With seemingly endless possibilities for the usefulness of Twitter, it's hard not to think of the application as slowly taking over the world...


  1. This is a very interesting subject, and for us that are still somewhat in the stone age of social media, and information technology in general. I would like to more about twitter, since it seems to have passed me by, along with my space, face book and others. I would be interested in finding a resource that would help me find additional information about twitter. As you clearly point out, the applications seem only as limited as man's (or woman's) imagination. Thanks for the introduction.

  2. The best way I have heard Twitter described is a "micro-blogging website," because it allows people to post short (up to 140 characters) statements about what they're doing. It's a good way to keep up with friends, professors, people in your industry, etc. A lot of businesses are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon as well and using it to get more intimately connected to their customers.

    That's just the most basic explanation, Wikipedia has a much more thorough article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter) or if you google "Twitter," you're bound to come up with millions of articles and websites further explaining it.