Using Twitter to Keep Up with Breaking News

With all of the social media websites and mobile apps out there today, you might find yourself looking to cut back or even use certain social sites for specific functions. While Facebook might be great for keeping in touch with family and friends scattered across the country, and Pinterest might be ideal for “scrap-booking” ideas for your next home, what in the world should you use Twitter for?

If the idea of “tweeting” messages out in 140 characters seems like a waste of time, perhaps you should consider Twitter in a new light. What Twitter excels at is breaking news, especially hyperlocal breaking news.

Hyperlocal is a term which simple means “very close” to you or your neighborhood. While a wildfire two states away might not be of concern to you, a four-alarm disaster in your neighborhood can suddenly be a real priority.

You don’t have to tweet to make use of Twitter. In fact, one of the best ways to use Twitter is simply as an “awareness” tool for your immediate area. Many people don’t realize that a variety of services and businesses break news daily via short Tweets with links to more information.

Here are some common categories you’re likely to find if you search Twitter for tweets and accounts near you:

– Fire / Police / EMS / local radio scanners
– Public utilities (including power and water… great for getting updates on outages)
– Local transit (trains, busses, taxis)
– Local government and civic notices
– Sports stadiums (traffic advisories, event information)
– Local news stations (learn what’s going on between regular broadcasts)
– Neighborhood blogs (very popular in cities)
– Neighborhood businesses (often advertise specials, events, and “Twitter only” freebies)
– Your actual neighbors!

You’d be surprised how useful Twitter can be when you think of it in terms of a breaking news delivery platform. Give it a try today. Who knows, you may even find yourself becoming a local news source yourself!

Ready to start reading hyperlocal tweets? Start by following me on Twitter! Follow my account, @soldonyou_ today.

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