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NYT: Twittering tips for beginners

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Dangerously, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    This is good reporting. I have a better understanding about Twitter after reading this. It's the first good explanation of WTF it is that I've found in all the discussion about the good/bad of it.

    As a tech columnist, I'm supposed to be on top of what's new in tech, but there's just too much, too fast; it's like drinking from a fire hose. I can only imagine how hopeless a task it must be for everyone else.

    Which brings us to Twitter.

    Twitter.com is all the rage among geeks, although it has more hype than users at this point. (When I speak at tech and education conferences, I routinely ask my audience how many are on Twitter. Usually, it's 1 in 500.)

    Basically, you sign up for a free account at Twitter.com. Then you're supposed to return to that site periodically and type short messages that announce what you're doing. (Very short — 140 characters max.)

    Then, you're supposed to persuade your friends and admirers to become your audience by subscribing to your utterances (called tweets). Big-name tech pundits amass tens of thousands of followers. Normal people may have five or six.

    I'll admit that, for the longest time, I was exasperated by the Twitter hype. Like the world needs ANOTHER ego-massaging, social-networking time drain? Between e-mail and blogs and Web sites and Facebook and chat and text messages, who on earth has the bandwidth to keep interrupting the day to visit a Web site and type in, "I'm now having lunch"? And to read the same stuff being broadcast by a hundred other people?

    Then my eyes were opened.

    For more, click the link.

  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    We're experimenting around the edges with a Twitter feed at my place and sending out stories on it. It's interesting, not sure where it will go, and not institutionalized to sending out stuff yet, just me and another guy. I think at least one real NFL quarterback is among our followers now, after we started following his twitter on the same account. No way of being sure, just seems plausible.

    It's an interesting, although very simple, technology, and I think there are uses for it.
  3. GuessWho

    GuessWho Active Member

    Our place has gotten heavily into this, with probably 30-40 writers and columnists using it for work purposes. Those who track this stuff say it's becoming a big part of our internet operation.
  4. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Our shop was all in a frenzy because we had 500 subscribers to our Twitter dealy.

    Meanwhile, we sell 200K newspapers, and we're going under.

    Doesn't make sense.
  5. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    I tried to explain my limited knowledge of Twitter to a friend today, using the Hudson River airline crash and the 'everyday conversation' items as examples.

    Her response? "Why do I care if someone is eating a sandwich?"

    The airline crash or other news, I can see a benefit. Conversing with staffers quickly and quietly, I can understand. But this random silliness back and forth is mind-boggling.
  6. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Twittering a child's funeral for the paper...still a bad idea, right?
  7. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Question: What's the NCAA's rules on Twitter as far as in game stuff?
    Could a writer theoretically twitter PxP during a game?
  8. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing yes, but it would be treated like a blog. No "live" play by play, just wrapups. One post per half inning in baseball. So, you can wrap up the team's turn at bat in one post. If someone hits a leadoff home run in the top of the ninth to tie the score, you can post it right then, but nothing else until the bottom of the inning. So you have to choose in that situation.

    I have only blogged NCAA baseball events, so I can't speak to how it would be treated for other sports. I don't see the NCAA allowing more frequent "Twitter" posts than blog posts, that's for sure.

    Footnote: These rules only applied to championship events (regionals, super regionals, College World Series).
  9. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I don't see how Facebook doesn't buy Twitter. Then Facebook turns its killer app, the status bar, into its own version of tweets, which sends text messages to all your friends. I believe you can already set your tweets to become your Facebook status. It's only a matter of time. Then Verizon buys them both up.
  10. ugh.
  11. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's still a bad idea. But that doesn't mean the technology itself doesn't have its uses. That one photo we were all ooohing and aaahing over on the US 1549 thread? Appeared originally via Twitter.
  12. DirtyDeeds

    DirtyDeeds Guest

    But couldn't it just as easily have appeared via e-mail or text message? I don't see the real advantage of Twitter. Seems like a glorified Facebook status update to me. All I have seen of it is The Lovely And Talented's ridiculous updates during her 15 minutes of fame.

    I guess the advantage is that it goes to several people as an alert and posts to your page or something? Admittedly, I am clueless about this. Rick Sanchez hasn't gotten me excited about it yet. ::) Someone please enlighten me. Or I guess I could, you know, read the article.

    P.S. You guys should have seen Sanchez when the guy who took this photo was on CNN on Friday. I've never seen him so excited. I quickly changed the channel.
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