This was the spring that I entered the Twitterverse. When I got my new smartphone a year ago, I set up a Twitter account and followed about three people. Boring! I never used it because there wasn’t much content. Instead, I jumped into Academia.edu enthusiastically. Even though I don’t quite use it in a Facebook-like social media way, I do use it to find papers and read up on people–especially internationally since European academics have really populated their Academia.edu pages.
Fast forward a year: I read a blog post on the academic uses of twitter and started following a few dozen Twitter feeds related to my research interests: anthropology, qualitative research methods, science and technology studies, European societies and politics, and then linking to more interests from there.
After a couple of weeks, I realized that a lot of the material I was retweeting was coming from urban planning feeds, and so I started following those. So I would say that Twitter use allows me to see interdisciplinary points of contact that I would have otherwise ignored. My Twitter feeds are also much more international than my usual reading habits (even as a person who studies Europe) and my usual conference-going social networks.