Twitter: Tipping Point for Journalists
[![Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...]()](http://www.crunchbase.com/company/twitter)Image via [CrunchBase](http://www.crunchbase.com)Something has happened in the last couple of weeks. [Twitter](http://www.twitter.com) has moved from something that is used by the social media cognoscenti amongst journalists, to something that is rapidly spreading amongst the more web aware hack. A [slew](http://twitter.com/farmersweekly) [of](http://twitter.com/martincouzins) [my](http://twitter.com/jamesga) [colleagues](http://twitter.com/flightblogger) are now using Twitter actively, and several who have had [moribund](http://twitter.com/sim89) or [RSS-only accounts](http://twitter.com/andreworange) are now actively using it as a conversation tool.
I think two things happened. The first was the rapid succession of news coming from people [twittering plane crashes](http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2008/dec/22/plane-crash-twitter) and [mumbai terror attacks](http://mindymcadams.com/tojou/2008/twitter-mumbai-and-10-facts-about-journalism-now/). That gave the service all too often derided as being about “what I had for my breakfast” a certain credibility as a reporting tool, one that could be faster than TV or the conventional web page..
And, much as I hate to admit it, I think the very visible presence of celebs like [Stephen Fry](http://www.stephenfry.com/clubfry/twitter/) and [Jonathan Ross](http://r.zemanta.com/?u=http%3A//www.guardian.co.uk/media/organgrinder/2008/dec/17/jonathan-ross-twitter&a=2301342&rid=0f2024c2-b256-4b40-9489-31db4567e4ee&e=5e1bb0910168aacffb6c0780e801fddc) on Twitter has something to do with it. That creates an impression, perhaps only subconsciously, that this is a real tool, not just a play thing of the engagement evangalists like me.
Anyway, whatever the cause, I’m delighted to see growing numbers of journalists starting to use Twitter to engage with each other and (hopefully) their readers. The next couple of months could be very interesting indeed.
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Adam has been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 25. He currently works as a consultant and trainer, helping people do better, more engaged online journalism.