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Top 10 journalistic uses for Twitter

Here's a brief guide to the top 10 journalistic uses of the microblogging tool Twitter. It's not all useless banter about cats and cookery... Sources - Use Twitterlocal to find out if anyone is tweeting from where you want to report, see what they're tweeting about, whether they might be useful/interesting and see if they are contactable. Broadcast - Use Twitterfeed to collect and broadcast an RSS feed of your work. Safety - Set up an auto-tweet to send an SOS message from your mobile phone with one touch to all your contacts/followers. Networking - Twitter can work as an online journalist's watercooler and the benefit of twitter-chatter is not to be underestimated. It's far quicker, and arguably more natural, to tweet a quick suggestion or request than to email or pick up the phone. Appointments - Friday, 6.30pm, Frontline Club. Anyone for drinks? It's a lot quicker than sending out a mass email or phoning round. This is how I kick off arranging the monthly Frontline breakfasts. Ideashaper - have a halfbaked idea about something? Tweet it and see if your followers can help shape it. Links - found an interesting link? Tweet it. I know a number of journalists who've picked up story leads from links they first saw on Twitter. Get work - If you're looking for work and everybody you follow, and who follows you, is in the same line of work. Tweet your availability. No harm in asking. Break news - At a conference, a news event, on the frontline in Helmand? As we've noted previously, Twitter's quicker. Track trends - find out what the buzz is on any given topic at any given time with Twist and then see exactly what they are saying about it, before heading back to the first item on this list.