Today the TweetTwins sat on our blustery branch here in NZ as the Swine Flu noise was foremost in the news and the numbers increase. An outcome of this has been parents now withdrawing students “just in case” and increasing number of schools closing doors to ensure.
Our conversation turned to the relevancy on social media tools to report such activities and the viral nature of instant reporting. Within 40 minutes of the local Westlake Girls High School announcing the school had a student afflicted, the Tweet Twins tweeted to our 300 plus followers around the globe. On reflection we would never SMS numbers on our cell phones re the Swine Flu outbreak, nor send an email to our list, but because of the ease people can “follow” us at their choice it seemed quite natural to tweet about a serious community health problem.
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The TechCrunch site reports an increase in Twitter generated traffic to their web site. Some people use Twitter to organize street protests in Tehran. Some people use it to share their daily thoughts and observations. But it is increasingly becoming clear that one of the most common ways people use Twitter is as a social information filter and link distributor.
Top Sources of Traffic To TechCrunch
1. Google: 32.7%
2. Direct: 22.7%
3. Twitter: 9.7%
4. Digg: 7.4%
5. Techmeme: 2.4%
6. Other: 25.1%
Some have likened Twitter to SMS on cell phones, however I think it is limiting to make this comparison as Twitter allows substantially more integration and users can easily access traffic data, content and noise. The social media element of Twitter is easily integrated into webs sites and it will be interesting to monitor if in fact Twitter and SMS on mobile phones becomes one and the same. Now that Twitter can be integrated with mobile phones the growth in my estimation must surely explode as all the statistics are indicating.
The TechCrunch article is well worth reading as it might challenge your perception.