Show of hands. Who follows links in Twitter now more than links in your feed reader?
That question was just raised by Amy Gahran, one of the blogosphere's most prolific bloggers. She confesses to following that practice and, once I thought about it, I realized I do as well.
So, the question is, "why?"
For me, it's a combination of things:
Time - I have little of it and reading feeds are very time-consuming, especially if you let them build up over a period of days.
Level of importance - In Twitter, I can see what people I follow deem important. In essence, others filter content, only delivering information that's caught their attention. Since many of those people are in the same niche as I, online marketing and/or social media, chances are what they're interested in will appeal to me as well.
My feed reader is much more democratized. Everything is on the same level playing field. I have to be the filter, sorting through the pile to find the good stuff. And even though I've already done some filtering by virtue of the fact that some feeds are based on keywords, while others are from bloggers I follow, it still leaves me with lots of material to review.
Timeliness - Twitter is the true "live web" app. What's happening now is what showing up at the top of the page. As such, I'm much more apt to catch onto a trend or bit of breaking news than if I rely on my feed reader, which I visit less often.
So, Amy and I both confess that Twitter has become a much more central component to our online content consumption habits. What about you? How valuable is Twitter from that standpoint? In what other ways does it serve you as well?
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