Are there more ways to use Twitter? The value of live-tweeting

Recently, NPR’s Scott Simon used his twitter account (@nprscottsimon) to dispatch 140 character reports from the ICU as his mother lay in intensive care.  Although this event may seem largely personal to many, the online response was overwhelmingly positive.  Some of Simon’s colleagues, like NPR Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim (@LimLouisa) heralded the moment as “shocking & desperately moving at the same time. He is humanising death.”

The Washington Post published an article about these Simon’s tweets.  The article points out that Simon is a “a semi-famous person, whose career has been built on inviting listeners into his life.” His twitter feed reflects that persona.  He tweets about everything from Ryan Braun and Siri to cooking and current events.

The tweets, although heartbreaking at times, bring up a important question about the ways one can use twitter.

Everyone might not be comfortable with live-tweeting these extremely personal events.  But live-tweeting is always a good option when you are attending a conference, symposium, or other professional event.

Be mindful of the event’s hashtags or create your own. If you do create a hashtag, make sure that it is easily to find.  Try to stay away from rarely used acronyms or expert-speak.  Doing this will allow your  stream of consciousness tweets will be accessible to all interested in the event or subject area.

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Readers, what do you think? Is “Live-tweeting” something you think can offer meaningful insight or is just another example of “social network over-share”?

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One response to “Are there more ways to use Twitter? The value of live-tweeting”

  1. chwomp says :

    I believe when done correctly live-tweeting can be a godsend, such as during emergencies like tornadoes or flash floods. More and more people are on their phone and Twitter so getting any news to them that way would be helpful. It obviously depends on *what* you are live-tweeting, though. (Please don’t live tweet your bathroom usage!)

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