Twitter offers a real advantages for anyone who needs to get their message out in spite of others who would block or distort the message.
It also offers an unusual opportunity for anyone seeking accurate information directly from the source.
Trying to get accurate information from mainstream media channels is like trying to get drinking water from a sewer. Trying to get accurate information from bloggers is like buying unlabeled water bottles from brawling street vendors.
In either case, you get a lot of useless crap mixed in with what you wanted.
If you want to find out what some celebrity or political figure has to say, follow them on Twitter and make up your own mind as to whether you believe them.
The main stream media and many bloggers have set themselves up as interpreters between the gullible public and the real sources of news. They give you their version of what the person is saying even while it is being said. Typically, a TV special will show a few minutes of someone speaking and then the talking head media figure will cut in to tell you what it means.
Since the mainstream media is highly partisan and mainly left-leaning, the audience gets a highly filtered version of what is being said and done. This is why watching TV news is such a waste of time.
I have been following national politics by reading blog coverage for the past year and the quality of information is better and the biases are not hidden, but there is still more opinion than factual data most of the time. Cross checking information on different blogs helps but it is hard to get real source data.
I think Twitter offers the potential for getting raw information that you can sort out and easily compare to the predigested stuff that is available on the news channel. By the time the rumors and biased judgments have been inserted, the original facts are almost unrecognizable.
Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska last week and journalists and bloggers generated at least a million words of copy of which very little made sense. Conjecture and carefully orchestrated rumors are not news, they are useless babble to fill air time and column inches.
If you want to know what Sarah has done and what she is doing now, follow her on Twitter. Her messages are quite succinct and provide links to answer almost any thing she discusses. Her Twitter feed is:
There are other people I have questions about and I will be following them on Twitter to see what they have to say. I think it may be quite revealing.
When someone is a source of news, they no longer ve to be subject to the whims and craziness of media channels. They can cut to the chase and get their side of the story out on Twitter. This has serious implications for the future of journalism. Editorializing reporters may be relegated to discussing news on a second hand basis only.
Those journalists who abide by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics may still have a place in future news organizations. Until then, Twitter offers the best way to find out what certain people are actually saying.
Of course, the downside is that everyone who has an opinion on anything is Twittering away so you need to be very specific on what you are looking for. Ask yourself, "Do I want to hear everyone's opinion on this person or do I want to hear what this person has to say?" Whether it is Sarah Palin or Barack Obama, getting the words from the actual source is best.
UPDATE: I have been following Sarah Palin on Twitter for a week now and I find it be a refreshing experience. I get instant updates on what she is doing and an entirely diferent perspective on the range of her activities.
I think more politicians should do the same. If I write to my Congressman Rick Boucher with a question, it tales him months to respond. I have no visibility on what he is doing to represent us until it is done.
Boucher voted Yes on the infamous Waxman-Markey bill without reading it and will probably do the same on the Health Care Extravaganza and Porkfest coming up.