My current (tentative) hypothesis about Twitter is that it is a worthwhile engagement given the following conditions:
1) You are a member of a ‘niche’ (market, specialty, trade, profession).
2) You deem that access to current information is critical to your performance in the niche.
I am involved in online marketing and brand building. This means that I need to stay on top of the ever-increasing pace of change across a wide swath of areas. My strategy is to employ the filtering capacity of a carefully-chosen cadre of industry experts to assist me in the gathering/monitoring of this expertise. This is a ‘passive’ activity whereby messages from my chosen group come to me, and I audit them. This is an adjunct to my routine ‘active’ searching for new information through my network, employees, and media outlets. The passive element of this strategy is very important in that my active research can only be seeded by things that I already know about- and thus has a built-in limitation of search-bias. The randomization and wide reach of the Twitter audience serves as a seeder for my active research.
“Twitter” seems to be an important ingredient in the recipe. For now.