This week, alternative rock's bible, SPIN magazine, announced that it would eliminate the standard short album review from the magazine (and web site) in order to "reinvent the album review." 21 staffers and freelancers will assess 1,500 albums over the course of the year via single 140-character posts on Twitter.
2011 was a year of big news, beginning with the Arizona shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords and ending with the sudden death of Kim Jong Il.
Now, you could flip on the nightly news to find out what's going on in the world. Or, you could do what author Kate Bussmann does: Boot up Twitter.
Bussmann is the author of a new book, A Twitter Year: 365 Days in 140 Characters, what she describes as the first-ever "social media almanac." She tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Sheir that Twitter gives her a unique perspective on the news.
Cincinnati and Charlotte, N.C., are similar in size and culture, and now they are going head to head in an effort to gain the favor of Chiquita. The fruit company is considering moving its Cincinnati headquarters, taking more than 300 jobs with it.
Residents of both cities refuse to sit idly by. They have taken to Twitter to communicate directly with the company's chief executive officer, Fernando Aguirre.
Aguirre spends a lot of time tweeting, from talking about his job to complimenting people to commenting on baseball.
Newt Gingrich announced that he is running for president this week in a tweet: a short message on Twitter, where all messages can't be longer than 140 characters. Mr. Gingrich included a link to a YouTube video.
Tweets and other social media platforms have become their own media. Jokes and gossip, to be sure, built a lot of Twitter followings. But reporters and politicians now use it because tweets can reach millions of people almost as quickly, and more directly, than even radio or TV can.