NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Clarence Clemons died last year, the first thing I did was turn on CNN.
The news station was busy running some sort of canned weekend programming. I flipped over to Fox, MSNBC, MTV and VH1 -- nothing. Back in the day when something happened, you powered up your television set and lost yourself in the breaking news for hours. Not anymore.
Since that day, my first move when something I care about happens changed. Cable television failed me. When I gave up and signed in to Twitter, however, I was able to review every news report published about Clemons. I saw instant reaction from musicians, Hollywood icons and sports stars. I bonded with fans from around the world as they tweeted RIPs and YouTube videos of epic E Street performances.Cramer: Spend Your Money on Google, Not Facebook >> I should have learned my lesson earlier in 2011. When Japan experienced the horrific earthquake and tsunami, I did not watch any broadcast television coverage. The same with protests in Iran, no-hitters and everything in between. Twitter brings the goods, ranging from eyewitness reports, real-time reaction and raw emotion from across the globe and links to relevant news stories and videos.
Like Facebook, Love TwitterI consider Facebook (FB - Get Report) CEO Mark Zuckerberg a visionary. For these reasons and others, many of which I have discussed on TheStreet, I think Facebook, once the IPO dust settles, will make a solid long-term investment. I use Twitter differently, however. I get more use out of it than I do Facebook. Twitter is hardly a time killer. And, while It can serve as a conduit for social interaction with "friends," it's so much more than that. I read more now than I ever have thanks to Twitter. It puts stories -- on topics that I care about -- in front of me that no news aggregator could match in terms of both quantity and quality. It exposes me to new people and new ways of thinking. It makes me more productive in many aspects of life. I have my Twitter feed set up so that it hits me with about 60% finance, 20% hockey, 10% music and 10% everything else.
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