As a social networking tool, Twitter is gaining in popularity, and according to Twitter has now passed in users. Perhaps best known for its “real time” format, Twitter is a nimble resource for sending out short bursts of information quickly, and people from a variety of professions are discovering that the features offered by Twitter are useful to their work.
As a recent
example of the speed with which
Not only journalists, but bloggers use Twitter as a news source. Bloggers report that they like to use Twitter to receive instant feedback to questions they post on Twitter. Their followers then "tweet" a response to their question on a topic of interest. You can also set up RSS feeds through Twitter to follow news feeds.
So while advertisers are using Twitter as a marketing
tool for their professional, and medical professionals are using Twitter to ask for information on medical-related
questions, getting answers from educators across the globe, lawyers and
legal professionals use Twitter as a data mining tool: to follow a trial, to get instant feed-back on a reported opinion, to check for information on a company, and to do people searches.
An informative article, How to use Twitter for
Information Mining, posted by Lenny Zeltzer, gives advice on how to mine the
data that is on Twitter. In this article,
the author lists Twitter essentials, and includes a link to a video by Common Craft, Twitter in Plain English, as well as citing to an
article from the New York Times, Twittering Tips for Beginners, to get you started on Twitter.
If you decide to try Twitter for information mining, the author features several tips on how to search topics, including:
- Emerging Topics
- People Searches
- Companies and Competition Searches
RSS Feeds on Twitter
If you want to learn how to set up RSS feeds on Twitter, see Use Twitter
for Your RSS Feeds. This article
takes you through the steps to set up RSS feeds on Twitter.
News Feeds on Twitter
Lawyers, at least student lawyers, are using
Twitter to improve their legal writing.
For more information on how a law student used Twitter to advance his
skill as a writer check out, Using
Twitter to Become a Better Legal Writer.
Remember, when using Twitter, either when setting up your
account or for searches, to please use caution regarding the information
you add or gather.
Don’t post anything on Twitter that you don’t want known, and when
seeking information, be aware that it’s possible to be fed wrong or bad information
Also, before signing on for a Twitter account, recognize that Twitter can be hacked and has been hacked in the past and a recent article reports that spammers, called "twammers," are targeting Twitter. Also, note that Twitter may share your personal information and reserves the right to sell it to a third party. But with these concerns in mind, you should find Twitter another valuable tool for information gathering.
Submitted by Jenny Zook, Reference Librarian on January 29, 2009
This article appears in the categories: Law Library/IT