TweetDeck http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta/ is a beta application that sits on your desktop and updates every 2 minutes with ‘Twitter’ messages from the people you follow on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) It turns twitter into something like an Instant Messenger (though one you don’t have to be troubled to deal with a reply).
While you may think Twitter is kind of silly (”I’m going for a pizza”–”I’m going to the bathroom”) more and more professional organizations are using this as a primary communications device for ‘urgent and breaking’ news.
Right now, I’m now subscribed to several ‘breaking news’ alert services, which pop up on my screen anywhere from 5-30 minutes before they show up on CNN or other websites. With tweetdeck it just sort of ‘appears’ on my screen — an ‘ambient’ way to watch the news go by, but still be ahead of everyone else.
Here are a few of the ones I’m following.
You can find other breaking news services as well using Twitter search: