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I'm listening to a recording of a Columbia University journalism school Webcast about Twitter. I've posted before about Twitter and used it for several months now, but I figured I should hear what the experts say about this microblogging fad.

I see great potential for Twitter as a reporting tool, but only if more people use it. I have enjoyed following the handful of Crossroads people on Twitter, such as Bea Amaya and Mike Withrow. I wonder, though, whether this social-networking tool will catch on to the level of even blogging. With the new design of our Web site, we hope to integrate Twitter better to encourage more participation.

If you want to find people from the area on Twitter, click on the advanced search link and type "Victoria, TX" in the location. I encourage you to sign up and let me know you're on Twitter.  You also can follow the Advocate's Twitter account.

A fun trick is to synch Twitter to your status on your Facebook page. For example, I Tweeted this morning about a story on today's front page. Two people -- one from out of town and a Victoria attorney -- read and commented on my Facebook page about the story. That's a nifty way to extend the reach of our stories and engage in a conversation with our readers.

But, as one expert says on the Webcast, the real value of Twitter is in who you follow. For the most part, I'm following a bunch of journalists and academics who seem to be Tweeting about so much insider-baseball babble in the echo chamber. I'd happily drop some of those folks in favor of you.