As the benefits of Twitter remain murky at best to some, an example of its usefulness and value came to light during recent events. Aside from hearing what someone’s having for lunch, or their pet’s health problems, the instant status updates serves business-related purposes.

During the Apple SDK announcement last week, I was anxiously awaiting word on the new updates. As 10 o’clock came around, my Twitter feed started hopping. Writers attending the event started posting tweets, short updates in real time, announcing the updates and features.

This seems to be the trend for conferences. Just last week at the SXSW festival, Twittering seemed to be the preferred method for updates.

Information travels so quickly now with the convergence of Web-enabled mobile devices and micro-blogging services such as Twitter. Years ago before blogs, if an announcement was made at a conference the press would learn about it, write the story that night, send it off and have it published the next morning – or even longer depending on the pub. With the advent of blogs, journalists could step out of conferences and update their blogs immediately following the conference. Not quite real time but closer.

With Twitter, the press can update their network of “friends” as fast as they can peck out messages on their mobiles. There are other options to blog live from your phone but I don’t see them catching on yet. Twitter provides the instant gratification of capturing a quick thought the moment it occurs. Blogging – although not necessarily formal — still requires more thought and revision, and is best suited for QWERTY-style typing.

— by Ron Toledo