twitterI have recently turned to Twitter for much of my news. Mainstream news networks haven’t covered many things that I have an interest in, and, when they do, they seem more and more skewed lately. Plus, the news on Twitter is delivered instantly. In 2011, when an earthquake hit Virginia, people received tweets up to 30 seconds before the ground shook.


Ferguson unrest began August 9, 2014. I have been watching #Ferguson on twitter to see the news from time to time since the media is not reporting it, not able to report it, or not reporting what I want to see. Although people have the right to film police, cameras have been shut off and news crews have been asked to leave the area. Sometimes, the only option left is Twitter.

A state of emergency has now been issued ahead of the upcoming court ruling. Friday, November 21, 2014, President Obama has called for calm and 2 people have been arrested with explosives. Rumor has it that the ruling may come today or tomorrow, November 23, 2014. If things get out of control for any reason, where will people get their news? People who are interested in seeing the events as they unfold will have to turn to social media sites like Twitter and Vine, or alternative media like Ustream (see live video from Ferguson on Ustream here).

Other news on Twitter

In 2011, engineers from Google, Twitter, and SayNow released Speak2Tweet for people in Egypt who had Internet access blocked during the Egyptian protests.

In October 2014 I went to the mountains to take some HDR photos of the leaves. Looking for the best spot, I turned to Twitter. I based my trip on the tweets of @FallColorHunter. The colors weren’t great in 2014 but I was able to find out which elevations had the most color.

Looking Glass Falls

November 1, 2014 it snowed out in NC. I was on my way to the mountains to judge a BBQ event. I went to Twitter and searched for snow NC. From a tweet I was able to see that it was indeed snowing and that a small detour would allow me to go see some snow, a rare sighting in NC.

These are just some of the many ways news is spread on Twitter and social media.

How has Twitter helped you?

1 Comment
  1. I could not agree more with the power of Twitter when it comes to in the moment news. I am a huge sports fan and Twitter owns this space. When I was in college and just out of college you had to go to message boards and Yahoo! Sports to get sports scores and news updates. It was extremely clunky to use these types of websites on mobile. Even to this day, most sports message board websites do not work well on the iPhone or an Android smartphone. For this reason, I have completely abandoned message boards. Another issue with sports message boards is you have to sift through all the different threads to find the exact topic or score update you are looking for.

    With Twitter, you can strategically follow accounts that only tweet score or news updates. Twitter is also extremely useful because you do not have to read the conversation of all of the Internet trolls. If that is your thing, you can click on the tweet and read the comments but I will avoid this most of the time. The only time I click on the tweet to read comments is when a Twitter account asks a question that is interesting to me. Sometimes popular Twitter accounts will do polls or ask a question that will garner some interesting responses.

    Admittedly, I am not interested in politics all that much. I try my best to avoid any type of political or religious discussion on the Internet. One of the main reasons I dislike Facebook so much is because of all the political and religious debates. While I am positive this is going on on Twitter I have the ability to remove it from my stream. I only follow around 125 Twitter accounts and many of those accounts are not overly active.

    One of the concerns I do have with Twitter is the company trying to push out tweets that I may not be interested in. Time and again I will see tweets that are favorited by someone else. I also see tweets from accounts that are followed by some of my friends. I have had to block BuzzFeed and other Twitter accounts because I honestly do not want to see their crap. There is a darn good reason I am not following them already.

    If Twitter turns into Facebook and tells me what I want to see it is going to be bad news for the company. I will be more than happy to leave any website or social network that tells me what I want to read. I have a brain. I like to use it. I think I am old enough to know the type of content I want to consume. If I want to know about something that is not already in my news feed I will search it through the new and improved Twitter search or I will simply Google it.

    I really hope there are some social networks that allow their users to determine what they want to see. Over the last few years I have thoroughly enjoyed Twitter because I have kept my Twitter feed very tight and clean. I remove anyone overly political or obsessive with one topic. I have a few IRL friends that I follow but only because they are funny. In fact, there are many IRL friends I do not follow on Twitter because they simply are not good with Twitter. It has nothing to do with my feelings towards them, they just don’t use Twitter the same way I do.

    If you are looking to experience sports or news in real time there is nothing better than Twitter. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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