Microblogging is exchanging small bits of information.
Prior to this year, I had not used Twitter. I found myself wanting to open an account, not necessarily looking to do a lot of microblogging myself, but rather to follow interesting individuals and groups. The Twitter microblogging platform gave me access to bits if information from groups and individuals that interested me, and occasionally, I tweet too.
Here are 4 reasons why I have a twitter account (and so should you):
- As a community activist with interests in public health, public education, urban planning, and governance, I found twitter to be a great resource for bits of information from a lot of reputable sources that I chose to follow. I could research an interesting organization such as the Prevention Institute or Bike East Bay and then follow them.
- Twitter alerts me when groups or individuals that I follow, posts something new. I can click on their “tweet” and be linked to an article, picture or chart or something else relevant to one of my interests. This has allowed me to keep informed of the latest information in my areas of interest
- Twitter is that it isn’t reciprocal as FaceBook is. You can follow someone and they don’t have to follow you back. No on has to “accept a friend request” such as on FaceBook.
- You can post a short message or “tweet” and add #hastags to index your message. By indexing your message, others can go back to that #hastag and see what the rest of the world is saying about that topic. This allows you insight into trends relating to your index topic.
Tweeting can be a powerful tool within public health. By following highly respected public health organizations or following individual leaders in the field you can get relevant up to date information. The key in the quality of the information is to do your research before hand to ensure that you are “following” a reputable organization and that the individual you are following really is that person.