Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Think Twitter is a Passing Fad? Or a Water Cooler Fixture with Staying Power?

We all have regular routines. Before going into my neighborhood Starbucks each morning, I would walk by the newspaper vending machines. Most of the time, I've already seen nearly all of the news displayed on the front pages.

Thanks to the power of Twitter, I have my news aggregated and ready for me when I wake up and glance at my iPhone. It's clear that I'm a news junkie.

As I was passing the news bins earlier this morning, the USA Today lead story jumped out at me. The headline below the bold blue graphic read: "Twitter Power: Learning from ourselves in real time." This summarized my nearly two-year experience with the 140-character-limit social media site with almost infinite possibilities.

After experiencing the aftermath of the Iran election and countless moments via shared with other Twitterers, I've concluded that Twitter is not a passing fad, but a really cool tool that has helped enhance my life. I am to do things faster, better, cheaper and smarter. And government and citizens can cultivate deeper understanding and more meaningful civic dialogue.

But the best part is being able to engage with wonderful people not only in Southern California, but throughout the world. I feel honored to learn from the best hearts and minds online thanks to Twitter.

And another amazing reward has been to actually meet some of these people who share some common traits -- independent thinkers, innovative minds and upbeat spirits.

From my first Twitter follower -- Andrew Galvin or @Andrew_Galvin of the Orange County Register -- to my 25,000th follower -- Matt B. Cole or @MattBCole who is a travel consultant from Tennessee --  thank you for enriching my life with useful nuggets of knowledge and even some fun water cooler chatter and juicy trivial tidbits.

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