Editor's note: Starting today, Westword contributor Cory Casciato will be blogging regularly for The Latest Word about the local tech and social-media scene. Feel free to e-mail him with links, story ideas, hate mail, and slices of congratulatory pizza.
If you're not on Twitter yet, you're one of about seven people left in the U.S. Seriously, I saw your grandpa on there the other day, sending all sorts of funny quips to @johncmayer. Don't be dissuaded by the fact that so many people use it simply for self-promotion or embarrassing themselves after being shit-canned (or in my case, both). Because while it's true that those are the main uses (well, that and training us all to think in 140-character bursts to aid in our eventual Borgification), there are plenty of useful Tweeters out there -- people who can help you get a handle on what's going on in the real world, and not just endlessly retweeting each other's lulz. Here are three locals to get you started:
Denver Weather. You know what fits really well into 140 characters? Pretty much everything you need to know about the weather. That's what you get with this follow: 140 characters of temperature, precipitation, wind speed and air pressure at DIA. Get it sent to your phone and you'll never need to look out the window again.
Westword. Of course we're on Twitter. We even have multiple Twitter streams. Our main one will tip you off to not only our best stories and blogs, but also related stuff that the average Denverite will care about, like the Broncos' latest power ranking, the newest Shmuck of the Week and what web editor Joe Tone had for lunch (booze, usually). You can also use it to find some of our writers' personal Twitter streams, so you can cyberstalk and harass them -- er, I mean, send them story ideas. And we recently gave out Rockies tickets, although in hindsight that feels more like a form of torture than a prize.
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Happn.in_in_Denver. Happn.in gives you a look into trends on Twitter -- i.e., what other people in your area are tweeting about, so you can stay up to date with what the cool kids are doing. It only updates three times a day, so it won't bog down your Twitter stream. Yesterday, for example, people were all a-Twitter over announcements from E3 (video games, for the nerd-impaired), the Air France tragedy and... Waffle House? Okay, whatever. Oh yeah, Happn.in is also great for figuring out what hashtags and terms you need to add to self-promote something only vaguely related to what people actually care about.