Twitter is a fun means of conveying simple thoughts, but the value of such a tool is debatable. A lot has been said about the academic usefulness of Twitter, read Cameron Blevin’s perspective. It has been argued that Twitter, in its current form, has limited academic value. The web tool is able to facilitate communication amongst individuals, so why not historians? Aiding in the exchange of ideas and opinions could have a positive impact on the general growth of the field. As discussed by Cameron,
One of the greatest advantages for academia that I can see from Twitter is that it plugs you into a rapid-fire, real-time platform for ideas and thoughts. While this can quickly turn into a deluge of information overload, it also keeps you up to date on contemporary events, issues, and trends in a distinctively social manner.
Having used Twitter for a few months, I believe the tool can become integral to the dissemination of ideas. More than sharing simple comments, Twitter’s straight forward system of expressing current thoughts allows users to link the views of others; thereby giving context and structure to larger topics of discussion. Basically, a single comment can lead to a string of associated comments and eventually a complex debate becomes evident. Nonetheless, the current limit of 140 characters is a hindrance to the expression of complete thoughts.
Currently, Twitter is a basic means of exchanging limited dialog. In time, the service may very well develop into a more complete academic tool, where it allows for more developed/lengthy posts. Ultimately Twitter is capable of encouraging the expression fresh view points in real time.