I love Twitter and have been active since long before it became cool in most circles. I actually started the Twitter feed for the Sports department of my last newspaper, the Daily Press of Newport News, Va. It was far from mainstream at that point and it took a substantial amount of work to even be allowed to go live with it. Now every sportswriter at the Daily Press and the sports editor have Twitter feeds.
Twitter obviously can be dangerous for public figures.
You could argue that a tweet from Marvin Austin probably represented the start of the downfall of Butch Davis as Carolina's football coach and the investigation that will eventually lead to NCAA sanctions. Rep. Anthony Weiner certainly could tell you about the pitfalls of Twitter!
Even with Twitter's popularity, it still has plenty of detractors.
I follow lots of Twitter feeds, but there are some that are so interesting and informative that I have each tweet sent to my phone as a text message. There are many Twitter accounts that are very interesting that aren't sent to my phone. Those might be people who tweet too much or post too much about other topics that don't interest me.
The beauty of Twitter is that you can cater your timeline to your interests. When I was at the Daily Press, I followed lots of NFL-oriented and some NASCAR-oriented Twitter feeds because it helped me keep up with the news and helped me do my job better. But I'm not a huge NFL fan and care nothing about NASCAR, so I unfollowed all of them when I left the Daily Press.
There are many good Twitter people I won't mention, but here is a list of Twitter accounts from which each tweet is sent to my phone as a text message:
The No. 1 Twitter feed for anybody who follows the news closely. A little too heavy on foreign news at times, but still essential. This feed eliminates the need to have the tweets from a lot of other news sources sent to my phone.
I rarely miss his CNN show, Reliable Sources, frequently read his columns at The Daily Beast and enjoy his insights about the way that the media are covering various topics. He also can provide solid analysis on politics.
I bought and enjoyed the ESPN book Those Guys Have All the Fun, and Miller dishes out some interesting tidbits about ESPN that I probably otherwise wouldn't get. It's like getting extra 140-character chapters.
He has interesting thoughts on journalism and news coverage, and posts political and sports tweets at times as well. He writes an good blog about journalism and other topics that includes Q&As with interesting people (with one notable exception.) Just don't ask him if he likes Cris Collinsworth.
I love the sometimes snarky posts about edits that he has to make in copy. He doesn't tweet that often, but it's always interesting if you're a word geek.
This is one of many grammar-oriented Twitter feeds I follow, but it's the best and most interesting. The series of posts prefaced with "when spell-check won't help" are hilarious.
The official Twitter account for Carolina basketball comes up with links to interesting stories. It also lets you know when press conferences are going to occur that you can watch on your computer.
I first had her tweets sent to my phone when she covered UNC football and men's basketball for the N&O, and it's just as helpful as she has shifted to ESPN.com as the Carolina basketball blogger. She provides good in-game tweets and UNC news, as well as sending links to her latest blog posts.