Just for clarification, I do mean trawl, not troll. Now, on with the post.

Twitter is often seen by writers as a schizophrenic necessary-evil and enjoyable-pastime. It is rarely seen as a treasure trove of inspiration and vessel for research. But, used correctly, that is exactly what it is.

Take, for example, the recent story of a weight-loss product campaign about being ‘beach body ready’ (here’s some fairly politically correct coverage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-32497580 and a less PC version: http://boingboing.net/2015/05/01/londoners-reject-sexist-bea.html ). What a wealth of material just there: from the people behind the ad campaign, to the public responding in different ways, to the company employees and their reactions to the response.

And this is one of millions of stories available. Just find a topic that you’re interested in, search a relevant account or hashtag, and then let your imagination do the rest…