Actually, I've been on Twitter since February 2007, and have come to rely on it always keeping me in touch with my greater web community. I do keep my tweets private, but accept requests as long as we have something in common -- location, vocation, recreation... ;) As @stevier points out (see above), our PSU community has really developed a rapport and it has become an invaluable resource on so many levels. In fact, we usually get the local tweets to a Tweet Meet about once a month just so we can have some face time over lunch and good conversation. I've definitely had the kool-aid. ;) So much so, in fact, that one of my presentations at PSU's Web 2008 Conference was on microblogging. I'm almost embarrassed at just how much I knew off the top of my head just through personal experience. Fingers crossed Twitter can resolve the scalability issues currently plaguing their service, because I really don't want to have to try to convince my social network to jump to Pownce or Jaiku... We really do miss it when it's down.
I've used Twitter to connect with people in my immediate community (http://buffalotweetup.ning.com/), the podcasting community, kept in touch with friends as well as web developers/marketers, etc. Often news will hit me via Twitter before other channels.
But to me, it's not just about an application, it's about learning how to communicate efficiently and effectively.
I follow 80+ higher ed folks in Twitter, and skim it daily for interesting content. It's also a pretty good place to bounce off ideas and get some good feedback on projects from people in the same industry. Just like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it.
"There’s a high school student who is a great fit for your institution, yet never engages with your institution online and enrolls elsewhere. Why? Find out during our next webcast with Lance Merker as he dives into the 2018 E-Expectations Trend…"