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By Dayna Fields
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April 2, 2014 12:01 a.m.
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In keeping with the spirit of newspaper SEO, social media and the new year, here’s Twitter’s top news trends for 2010:

1.) Gulf Oil Spill 2.) Haiti Earthquake 3.) Pakistan Floods 4.) Koreas Conflict 5.) Chilean Miners Rescue

6.) Chavez Tas Ponchao 7.) Wikileaks Cablegate 8.) Hurricane Earl 9.) Prince Williams engagement 10.) World Aids Day

As you can see, the trending feature offered by Twitter, called "Trending Topics,” can offer news staffs a real-time report on the hottest topics out there. Trends track the discussions of the moment, not of yesterday or two hours ago. Used correctly, it is an excellent resource for any newsroom. But first, what are trending topics, aka Twitter trends?

Trends happen when Twitter algorithms “observe” a growing number of people in diverse areas tweeting about the same subject more frequently and within a given timeframe.

To denote what the tweet is about, users put hash tags before the keyword or buzz word. For example, “What do you think of new #Speaker Boehner? Share your thoughts.”

Introduced in 2008, the purpose of Twitter trends is to help people find the discussions in which they are interested faster and easier. It constantly updates the list of the top 10 trends at the right of your Twitter page.

Quickly checking out the trending topics each day can help you stay in-the-know when it comes to current events, debates, discussions, concerns, fads, pop culture, breaking news and more. Trends can help you find out what people are asking, answering, wondering, chatting, yelling or hearing about.

Trending topics is like eavesdropping on hundreds of conversations around the world –– legally. So use it to the best of your advantage. WhatTheTrend.com is a great site for tracking Twitter trending and reading about why a topic is trending.

Let me know if you have any other questions about Twitter, how to use it or how to navigate it. Also, remember to follow us on Twitter @ghnewsroom.

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