Twitter has almost totally leveled the influence of news and information web sites (and blogs).
I get bombarded all day on Twitter with links to information that looks interesting and valuable in the context of 140 characters. I click on a bunch of these links every day.
I often end up on small web sites with very valuable information about healthcare or glaciers or dogs or social data or food recipes or why I should ditch my diet and receive all of my nutrients from kale. Depending on the day of the week I am assailed with information about a Kardashian or three, the student at Duke paying her tuition by appearing in porn, or the obscenity of Putin’s tanks.
Without the constant bombardment of links I never would have discovered my favorite bloggers (@DrJenGunter, @hansbuskes) or many of the thought provoking liberal “get them GOP idiots” cartoon sites or many of the conservative “get them liberal Dem idiiots” cartoon sites. Without Twitter I would not have paid attention to the consistently great information on the web sites of Scientific American or Discover or Al Jazeera or the BBC or the Association for Psychological Science or the Mayo Clinic or many small regional news outlets including those of more than 100 countries. Without Twitter I would be actively selecting the very few giant media web sites from which I would get my information — the New Yawk elitist times, the la-la optimist times, CNN (the original chicken noodle network), Fox (the we eat chickens network), NBC and ABC and CBS (and the other three and four letter news oligarchies). Without all of the constant links I would not learn about all of the human rights violations worldwide or the most recent breakthroughs in dozens of professional fields (healthcare, medicine, astronomy, physics, nano technology, image processing).
Without Twitter I would probably spend little or no time on the web sites of news organizations based outside the USA or know about Indie films or see great pictures from outer space.
WOW. There are zillions of great information producing web sites out there, many with such small budgets that they could not even afford a print ad in the New York Times.
Along with the testimonials to “a grapefruit saved my life,” the latest zit removal miracle, and unapproved medical therapies, there are diamonds out there that can expand your views greatly. At times there is TOO MUCH INFORMATION but you can’t find the jewels without going into the mine.
Democratization of the world’s information is a great thing.