For the next few days I’ll be writing about Twitter, the microblogging/social networking service that has been making headlines lately as a device to not only communicate between friends, but also a way to broadcast breaking news, seek international help for overseas arrests, hold Presidential debates, and more. (For a fantastic primer on what Twitter is, watch this video.)
To kick things off, I asked a handful of local bloggers who use Twitter frequently to let me know which Twitter “feeds” are indispensable services for Angelenos – these aren’t necessarily the “most fun” feeds (I’ll have those tomorrow), but the ones with the most practical usage… more or less. Here are the top 5 results:
- Los Angeles Fire Department [/lafd] is a feed from the LAFD’s existing Google Groups alerts, notifying subscribers of responses to everything from fires to hazardous waste spills to serious car crashes. Besides being a constant reminder of the the critical need we have of emergency services, it is often the first word on potential park fires and traffic jams.
- SoCal Quakes [/socalquakes] may help let you know if that an earthquake you felt, and not just your drunken neighbor falling to the floor. *Note: it appears this feed hasn’t been updated in weeks – alas, a good backup, albeit one that covers all sizeable quakes worldwide, is Earthquake News [/EarthquakeNews].
- The Roxy [/theroxy] is the classic West Hollywood rock club’s whispering in your ear about sound checks, upcoming shows, and random quips about life in L.A.
- Mars Phoenix Lander [/MarsPhoenix] sends updates from 309 million miles away, as translated by its minders at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Labs, making it feel like a local. Of note: news that the Phoenix lander found ice on the Red Planet was broken first via its Twitter feed.
- LA Updates [/laupdates] keeps an eye on LA’s social scene, including where to $3 pitchers of beer, notices of hot shows, and occasional tips on where to download popular music cheaply or free.
I’m also using this brief series to plug LA Metblogs own Twitter feed: twitter.com/LAMetblogs. Instead of using it to duplicate our RSS feed, only occasional, select posts will be sent to Twitter, with the 140 character constraint of “tweets” in mind.
In the meantime, if you use Twitter, let us know what your essential L.A. feeds are… or feel free to plug your own account.