One of the most valuable aspects of social media is that it can allow you to rely on human beings to filter out the noise on the Internet and get to the valuable information in a more efficient way. Twitter can give you a big assist in that department, especially when it comes to following the latest tech news.

That may sound odd to some of you, if you’ve looked at Twitter in the past and found nothing but a lot of noise and very little useful information. However, I’m going to show you a trick that will allow you to use Twitter as a real-time feed for tech news that is much better and more efficient than an RSS reader.

For perspectives on the latest in tech, you can also follow my Twitter feed: @jasonhiner.

The secret to Twitter is that you have to know who to follow. I’ve put together a list of a dozen technology journalists who post a regular stream of links to the latest and greatest tech news stories, and rarely post off-topic chatter.

You can find a list of these 12 journalists below, but I have to caution you that if you click the links to their individual Twitter pages then you won’t see the full value of their Twitter stream because these pages include all of their @replies to other Twitter users. Normally, you wouldn’t see any of these tweets (the ones that begin with @username) unless you also follow the person mentioned in the reply.

Go to my Twitter list TechNews12 to get a better idea of how useful this type of Twitter news feed can be. And, the good news is that you don’t even have to be a Twitter member to access this list. If you like it, you can simply bookmark the page.

If you are a Twitter member (or decide to sign up) then you can follow this list and it will show up in your “Lists” section in the right column. You can also choose to follow all 12 of these individuals as your foundation on Twitter and then add other tech experts to the mix as you find them, based on your specialties and interests (see my larger directory of 140 tech experts on Twitter).

Again, here’s a description of the 12 on my list:

1. Lance Ulanoff

Editor in Chief of PC Magazine (now, Lance provides a regular stream of news links on the most important stories on computing and mobile, and a little bit of consumer electronics.

2. Mike Elgan

A prolific freelance journalist for multiple tech publications, Mike tweets stories from around the Web on a wide breadth of tech topics.

3. Kara Swisher

Veteran Wall Street Journal columnist has a discerning eye for the big stories. On Twitter, she also gives quick links to stories when she has a scoop on something.

4. Shibhani Joshi

Journalist for Fox Business Network tweets lots of great tech stories every weekday, especially stories relating to public tech companies. After all, she’s a NASDAQ reporter.

5. Larry Dignan

ZDNet editor in chief has the angle on business tech and enterprise stories. Often quickly analyzes the earnings reports of publicly-traded tech companies. (Disclaimer: ZDNet and TechRepublic are sister sites, both part of CBS Interactive.)

6. John Paczkowski

Editor for All Things Digital (a Wall Street Journal property) blogs and tweets about the latest developments in the hi-tech industry, especially Silicon Valley.

7. Pete Cashmore

The Twitter account of this Scottish entrepreneur, the CEO of Mashable, is mostly a feed of the latest Mashable news stories covering consumer technology and social media.

8. Mary Jo Foley

No one has better sources inside Microsoft than Mary Jo, and she regularly blogs and tweets about her latest scoops on Microsoft plans.

9. Harry McCracken

Editor/Founder of Technologizer (and former editor of PC World), Harry is an excellent filter of the most interesting developments in computing.

10. Robert Scoble

If you want to know what’s next on the Web, social media, and emerging technologies, Scoble usually has an eye on it.

11. Richard McManus

For the latest in news and trends on Web technologies, ReadWriteWeb Editor/Founder Richard McManus has a good Twitter stream, even though it is mostly filled with links to RWW stories.

12. Josh Topolsky

Topolsky is the editor in chief of Engadget, which has lots of news stories on consumer electronics, smartphones, and other gadgets. His Twitter stream is a great way to catch Engadget’s top stories in real time.