In my last post I discussed whether Facebook or Twitter was better for business. In doing so I listed how each are used. My good friend Mike pointed out that Twitter is great for him because it is a “visual radio” (Unfortunately, that is his phrase, not mine. I wish I could have coined it.) Mike is deaf, and one of the ways that he uses Twitter is as a way to see what is going on in the world at that moment.
It struck me that many people do not know they can use social media this way or even what I mean. So I thought I would explain.
I have two great examples that I think illustrate what I mean. The first happened to me a while ago. I was flying to Colorado with my wife and her brother to go to their cousin’s wedding. We boarded the plane, and were promptly told that our flight was delayed because Denver airport was shut down. However, the pilot had no idea what was going on because the weather reports said it was a perfect day in Denver.
We hopped on Twitter and searched for “Denver airport”. The search feed told us things like “Huge dust storm” and “Dust walls as big as skyscrapers at the Denver airport”. So we found out why our plane was delayed before the pilot did.
The next example happened just a couple of weeks ago dealing with 80-35. It is an annual concert festival that the DesMoines Music Coalition puts on each year. Saturday was a perfect day, and we had a great time. When Sunday came, all we could see looking out our windows were sheets of rain. We hopped back on Twitter to see if the concert was cancelled and we found out that people were complaining about the rain, but they were still there and the show went on all day long.
Another reason I write all of this is because I constantly get asked “Who cares what I had for breakfast?” as the most common reason for not using Twitter or Facebook or any other social media site. I hope this shows that people sharing what they are doing in their everyday life is useful. It can be a whole lot of information flowing at you if you are just going to look and see what your friends are doing. That is why I recommend, just checking in every once in a while to see what is happening and if there is anything there for you.
If you have to know about something very specific that is happening right now, social media can save your day.