Twittermania: Why I Caved and Became A Tweeter

To say I've been reluctant is an understatement. To suggest that I have resisted joining the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter doesn't fully capture just how aggressively I have shunned the social networking tsunami.


For Facebook, I thought that if I lost touch with someone 20 years ago, it was probably for a reason, and if they came to mind, I would search them out and find them. Likewise, if someone wanted to find me, they'd figure out a way to find me.

For LinkedIn, I get so many requests on a given day that I just have no interest. It's annoying. And for Twitter, what I could I possibly offer that's useful in 140 characters or less; why bother? Does anyone really want to know what kind of wine I'm drinking with dinner?

But my colleagues Jane Wells and Mike Huckman both swear by Twitter, are over the moon about its possibilities and potential, and rave about what a key tool it is for those of us in the media business. (And if you're not following them, you should— @janewells and @mhuckman, by the way. Both offer insights the likes of which you won't get anywhere else. Follow. Follow!)

So last night, after months of saying no, no, no, I took the plunge, joined the party, gave in, caved, acquiesced, put out the white flag, and joined Twitter ( or just @jimgoldman if you can find me.

The site always seemed to me to scream "me, me, me" as a kind of ongoing, online vanity plate. But Jane convinced me that as a breaking news conduit, there might not be anything better. Posts are instant, there are no filters, and heaven only knows that there are a ton of things happening in the tech world that are worth noting, but not worth a mention on TV, or a longer post here on the blog.

  • Another attack downs Twitter, briefly this time

How many times, I asked myself as I was signing up, do I call a friend during the day to say, "Did you see that?" Or, "Did you hear that?" Or, "Can you believe that?" How many times do I hear things from someone that I want to share but don't have the proper venue to do it?

And better still, how many times do I want to get news out but don't want to wait, or can't wait, for the traditionally slower moving parts of a major TV news organization to do so? CNBC does an unmatched job in breaking news.

Our website is an incredible resource. But Twitter, it seems, affords me an opportunity to get a snippet of something out there, and drive you, the reader, to my blog for more, or to our air for other details. In the same way I alert our assignment desk that I have breaking news and that I need to get in the chair to report it, it seems to me I could use Twitter in the much the same way and alert readers to stuff upcoming.

In my business, being first is only trumped by being accurate. Twitter seems to be the fastest way to break news — if even on a small scale depending upon how many people actually read it; but it also seems like a great repository to add detail and nuance to ongoing stories through the day. Sometimes I'll live blog an event, like something at Apple . But Twitter offers me the opportunity to essentially live blog the day when events warrant.

I won't use the posts to bore you. You likely won't be finding out details about my kids, or what kind of wine I actually had with dinner. Well, maybe sometimes. But I will feature what I think is useful information that I find interesting, and hope you will too.

  • Britain's Royal Opera wants you to make tweet music

Likewise, and maybe most importantly, I hope Twitter affords me a more direct dialogue with all of you. If you've got tips, stories, ideas, comments and criticisms, bring it! This is a big experiment for me, and I hope you participate.

Jane tells me my "personal brand" is important and Twitter only extends it. I hope that's true. We shall see.

Questions? Comments?