My friend said that Twitter is like the biggest garbage dump in the Internet. But then again, the same could be said about most forums and discussion websites (eg: Blogs). The trick is to know enough to sift through the manure for the little gems that can hide in between, and Twitter represents that same philosophy.
The first and most important use of Twitter is as a supplementary search engine. This is due in part to the sheer size and community of Twitter, which spans millions of users such that your searches can frequently bring you to important pieces of information that you need.
For example, if you need to get the latest information on a particular news story, American Idol results or something of that sort, it can take some time for proper news websites to report the information. We can rely on blogs to get more up-to-date information but that way isn’t perfect. Twitter though fits this type of searches exactly as people hit Twitter just seconds after an event, with short snippets with exactly the information you need. Thus, as a way of following developing stories in “near real-time”, nothing can beat Twitter and the legions of people that make this possible.
You can also use Twitter to monitor important things that you care about.
Developers of your favorite games or programs usually have their own Twitter pages that let you know the progress of something. Stars are also increasingly getting on the Twitter bandwagon, although be warned there are an equal amount of fakes out there as well. Breaking news also spread quickly through Twitter, although I still prefer to take my news via RSS, as it allows me to quickly get the full story if I find it interesting.
Finally, if you have enough followers, Twitter can be amazingly good at getting answers to your questions. Bad at all this technology mumbo jumbo? Add lots of your geek savvy friends and pretty soon you will have an army of people that is ready and willing to help out should you have any questions!