Since Al Gore invented the internet, we have had an unprecedented amount of information and data right at our fingertips.  However, given the immeasurable quantity of this information, it has always been a challenge to quickly and efficiently gather intel and perform research on the internet, especially in the context of a securities practice.  While search engines like Google and Yahoo have helped, they do not always provide the up-to-the-second results that are demanded in the securities world.

To describe the securities industry as “fast paced” is a gross understatement.  In a world where high frequency trading has become acceptable and securities respond almost instantaneously to breaking news, it is critical to have up-to-the-second access to news, information, and search results.  For the most part, news sites and search engines fail in this regard.  However, there is one online tool, which is often overlooked, that does provide moment-by-moment news and information:  Twitter.

For those who have never accessed Twitter before, you may just think of it as another social media tool, like Facebook or LinkedIn.  However, unlike those sites, Twitter provides its users access to ALL of the information that is being posted on its site in an up-to-the-second streaming and searchable fashion.  When news breaks, users tweet about it.  They share information, data, links, photos, and even on-the-ground details about what is happening.

No other forum on the internet exists with so many sources of information (236 million users and counting) and provides short, concise, and instantaneous updates about anything you are interested in knowing about.  Importantly, Twitter has been adopted almost universally by reporters and news outlets, which will often tweet out breaking news before it even hits their own websites.  However, it is often the average Joe, who may just be in the right place at the right time, to first to share the news on some major happening; and if he or she is on Twitter, that is where the news will break.

So if you are not already familiar with the streaming news and search functions of Twitter, you should get familiar with it.  Whether you are in the securities industry or catering to its demands, you need information as fast as you can get it.  In today’s internet, the best place for that is Twitter, and there is no rival.