At Read Write Web, Marshall Kirkpatrick explains why he would shell out 50 bucks a month for his Twitter account:
I’m a news writer for a living. Using Twitter, I find news stories to write about. Such good stories, so fast and so often that I wrote a year and a half ago that Twitter is paying my rent. A couple of news tips a month that lead to stories that blow up big on Digg and the investment would be worth it to me.
Kirkpatrick also says that Twitter is far more effective at finding stories than as a marketing tool:
The fact is, Twitter isn’t a terribly effective promotional vehicle. If you’re Dell and publishing links to discounted computers, you can make some big sales, but content publishers aren’t going to see traffic numbers from Twitter. TechCrunch has a quarter million followers on Twitter and they report referring visitors per month that are probably equivalent to a half day’s worth of their total traffic.
It’s not about broadcasting your message. It’s about listening to a very targeted group of thought leaders in your industry and occasionally interacting with them. Think your industry doesn’t have important people using Twitter? Go do some searches at Twellow.com – you’ll probably be surprised.