Robert Scoble wrote a year ago about how Twitter users reported a major earthquake in Mexico City several minutes before the USGS did. Zolie Erdos chronicled last month how Twitter users beat government agencies and the world’s (formerly) leading news organizations in reporting on March earthquakes in both China and Japan.
We discover tech news tips on Twitter first on a regular basis. When Google bought Twitter competitor Jaiku, for example, we learned about it on Twitter. That early news tip lead to our covering the news before any one else and getting our story on the front page of Digg – good in this case for tens of thousands of pageviews.
I would concur completely with Marshall on their approach to using Twitter – It’s an invaluable tool for networking, discussions, soliciting interview questions, and so on.
But most importantly, it’s one of the best sources for leads and rumors that I’ve seen in recent years.
It’s one thing to take the time to develop and nurture relationships that eventually lead to sources that can provide the information that allows a news or tech blogger to break stories – but Twitter can provide you with a ton of information through the information stream that it provides.
Plus it’s one of the easiest ways to interact with other key bloggers across a variety of fields.
I would highly recommend that any blogger use Twitter.