As an avid Twitter user, I'm constantly trying to find ways to extend its functionality and make it more than a place to converse with friends and discuss what's going on in my life.
Doing that can be quite simple. More often than not, I'll employ "Remember the Milk" or a similar tool that lets me use Twitter to manage my tasks. These tools typically work well and help me achieve my single desire: to fully exploit Twitter and get everything I can out of it.
But in recent weeks, I've realized that I've been missing the boat in a very big way. In the past I've used sites like Bloglines, Google Reader, and others to track prominent sites, and find out what kind of stories they're covering each day. Some are related to technology, while others focus solely on sports. No matter the topic, the RSS reader made it easy to find out what's going on in the world without being forced to go to all the different sites individually.
But in recent weeks, I've realized that each day I use the best feed reader of them all and I didn't even know it: Twitter. Since then, I've used it exclusively as a replacement to my RSS reader and I couldn't be happier. Believe it or not, Twitter is the best way to find all the best news.
People, people, people I'm a firm believer that you should follow everyone who follows you on Twitter. I think it would make the community a better place and by doing so, you actually get more out of the service than by only following a select group of friends.
But I've realized now that it goes beyond just knowing other people. I now know that by following other people, your chances of getting more news, and getting it faster goes way up. And that's precisely why Twitter users have kept me from having to rely on my RSS reader for news.
Remember when US Airways flight 1549 landed safely in the Hudson River? I didn't hear about it in my RSS reader and I didn't even see it on TV. No, first I heard about it from folks on Twitter.
I simply checked Twitter to see what some of my followers were up to and almost immediately, a deluge of discussions on Flight 1549 cropped up. I immediately went to my RSS reader and discovered something I didn't expect:… Read more