I use Twitter more professionally than personally, as I am responsible for managing social media for our matrimonial and family law firm. I like Twitter as an option in the social media menu because it is the fastest way to get breaking news. I like that new news comes with offered opinions from the people you care about and have put into your own network. I am glad Twitter does not need reciprocity in order to connect, like Facebook and LinkedIn do.

The future I hope to see will have everyone agree on one elite social media place that will offer the best aspects of the different social media all in one place. I look forward to that day so I can forget all the other passwords floating around in my head.

-- Sharyn O'Mara, Wantagh

 

What 140 characters can capture

Social media, which include Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and blogs, are another form of communication. As a public-relations professional and someone who sought a master's degree in communication, I find it all fascinating. I used to have to read the cover of The Wall Street Journal to see the day's headlines. Now, I can do it all on Twitter. Follow The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets; Newsday, too, as well as entertainment media, friends, colleagues, companies of interest and charitable foundations. You can follow it all if you wish and hope that some of them follow you back.

Why the trend? Twitter is only 140 characters, so get to the point. Be clever in how you say it. Abbreviating is not only allowed but encouraged. Creative license is the norm. Next to texting, it's immediate writing that you and your friends, colleagues, followers can see. The # or hash tag, means you can follow a topic that is trending. Want to know what is tweeting on baseball? Search #baseball. Want to know what's knew in astrophysics? Search #astrophysics. Want to know what is trending on a particular health matter? Search #endometriosis (or any health topic you are interested in finding out on tweets).

I'm not sure how much you will find in astrophysics on Twitter, but you never know what you can read day to day. It is different everyday, and that is part of the trend. You can see celebrities, politicians, CEOs and the average vice president of any company tweeting on their subject matter throughout the day and night. It is international in reach, so you will never again be out of touch with colleagues or interests in Asia or Australia.

Will it replace traditional media? No. The long form is still sought for all detail, and even on Twitter you will get links to articles, videos and "white papers" that cover their subjects in greater detail that you can't get in 140 characters.

I still go to the library for the quiet and in-depth reading you can only get in magazines and newspapers, and the feel of real books. And for all the Kindles and Nooks in the world, for me, an aspiring author, nothing replaces real books completely. Not yet, anyway!

- Kathy Van Duzer,Southold