I originally wrote this blog for wikinomics.com, but I thought it would fit well here. Here’s a quick explanation of how I use Twitter for research purposes, which will hopefully give some insight into how Twitter is a valuable Web 2.0 tool, and not just a means of stalking Ashton Kutcher.
First, I’ll briefly explain my Twitter identity. f you want to follow me, my Twitter name is @A_Marsh. You’ll notice that 3/4 of my posts are very short comments designed to entice followers to click through on links I’ve provided (many of which are in the Wikinomics theme). Essentially, I use Twitter as a gateway to substantive content, a style of Tweeting that revolves around drawing attention to longer, more substantial sources.
As far as using Twitter as a research tool, I generally follow other user who also use it as a gateway to more substantive content. For me, Twitter is something like a news condenser, or a filter. I’ve handpicked a series of intelligent users to follow on Twitter, users who filter through the glut of information available on the web, and highlight what they believe to be the most useful and important. If you pick out the right users to follow, it can be akin to having an entire team of researchers working for you, pro-bono and in realtime.
So here’s two examples of how I’ve used Twitter to stay up to date on developments in the world of Government 2.0.