Twitter asks the simple question, “What are you doing?” But the question, “Why do you twitter?” seems to be much more popular with friends, co-workers, and family members, who “don’t get” twitter. I do it for the information.

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It doesn’t take long for many to realize the power of instant social networking, and en-masse information gathering. It doesn’t matter that people aren’t interested in life’s mundane activities. What’s important is finding the precious nuggets of information mixed in the sea of chaff.

As Twitter grows, the information being passed from person to person through the service becomes more diversified, universal, and specific. People are tweeting about a huge variety of topics, and through various websites you can see which topics are popular, or “trending.”

TwitterFall TwitterFall is a great example of the power of Twitter in keeping up to date with current trends. TwitterFall shows you a live feed of all tweets, as they happen. You can see the top trends on the left, or if you want to see what people are currently saying about a new album, website, tech device, or news event, you can add a custom filter. TwitterFall’s limitation is its relation to the present.

twazzup.comTwazzup allows you to search for past and present tweets on a specific topic. It also shows you featured and popular tweets. Search engines like this, including Twitter’s built in search, demonstrate the power of twitter aggregated information. Practically every topic imaginable has, at some point, been tweeted about.

Unfortunately, both of these services also show the biggest problem with en-masse aggregated information – tweets on popular topics are not always important, relevant, interesting, or of any use. This is why it is important that you follow people you are interested in hearing from.

twellow.comTwellow, a yellow pages for Twitter, is definitely the most popular people search. This is a great first step in finding people working in areas that you are interested in, and for building a network.

wefollow.comwefollow.com is another popular people search, focused on self-selected topical tags and popularity. This is a great way to find popular twitterers who tweet often and with relevance.

Added together, you begin to see the power of twitter. Follow a number of  people in different industries, relevant to your interests, and you will start to see trends and ideas weave in and out in the mass of tweets – you’ll have your nuggets of information in the sea of chaff.

So, why do I Twitter? Access to a wealth of relavant, timely information is too precious to pass up.