I think I've mentioned here before that I find Twitter to be remarkably useful and interesting, and just in the last couple of days there have been a couple of additional instances that prove it.
This morning, with heavy rain causing serious flood headaches all over the Madison area, Katie Austin's Twitter feed, @madisontraffic, was indispensable. She's plugged in to various law enforcement agencies and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and she gets tips via Twitter from people reporting what they see as they travel. On the air, we report this information as quickly and as often as we can, but the beauty of Katie's Twitter feed is that if you miss anything, you can go back and see what she has been reporting. Plus, it's instant information. You never have to wait.
Last night, a state legislator in Texas launched a 13-hour filibuster in hopes of stopping a controversial bill from passing. Oddly, her speech didn't get much coverage on the cable news channels, but it was all over Twitter, with information from reporters, from people watching the proceedings online, and from people inside the statehouse in Austin. Something similar happened here during our Capitol protests in 2011--you could watch news happen in real time instead of waiting for somebody to tell you about it later.
In quieter times, Twitter is equally useful and entertaining. (If you're a dog owner, for example, the feed @IAmAGoodDog is hilarious.) I am not just a reader of Twitter--I crack wise on it, too, and you can follow me @ja_bartlett. If you decide to try Twitter and you follow me, let me know you're a Magic listener and I'll follow you back. I promise.