Who Tweets and Why Tweet for Breaking News

Okay, before we start this, in less than a week I have become a Twitteraddict. If you're signed on look me up: AKAmamma

Yesterday, the Pew Internet and American Life Project released a study on the use of Twitter and status updating services. The study found that 1 in 10 online US adults has used Twitter or a comparable service to share updates with others. Twitter provides the prompt, "What are you doing now?" and users post their moods, thoughts, opinions or location in 140 characters or less.

The study revealed that Twitterers were mainly young adults: 20% of young adults in the 25-34 age group have used Twitter, slightly more than users aged 18 to 24 (19%). The user rate dropped sharply to 10% among the 35-44 age group and to 5% among those aged 45 to 54.

Twitter use is highly interconnected with other social media, such as blogging and social networking. In fact, the study reports that if someone blogs and uses social networking, there is a strong likelihood that s/he will also use Twitter.

In general, people who tweet tend to be social beings who seek out social forums. The status updater or Twitter set tend to be mobile and enjoy the freedom of wireless technology, such as laptops, hand held devices and cell phones, or any application that gives them more social contact.

Now you have the profile of those who tweet... but is Twitter a useful tool in finding stories?

Consider this: Using his iphone, Janis Krums posted the first picture on Twitter of U.S. Airways flight 1549 which crashed into the Hudson River. And just 34 minutes later, he was being interviewed live as an eye-witness by MSNBC.

A lucky break you say. Nope. There is an endless number of stories out there. It all depends on who you follow. On the Twitter interface, choose Suggested Users to get started, and then select the people or entities that most interest you.

As you may have guessed, I've been following a tech guru in this neck of the woods on Twitter, and that's how I came up with this story.


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