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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Less is more when updating news on Twitter

It's not just me, then. I see Jeff Jarvis is also getting annoyed with the way news companies are dumping multiple headlines on Twitter in big batches, with the result that they fill out people's Twitter boxes.

Jeff Jarvis jeffjarvis The roadblock of NYTimes tweets is irritating me. I don't want every damned headline as a tweet.

Duncan Riley on TechCrunch suggesting it was the only way for Twitter to make money: "Occasional ads in the Twitter timeline, in a similar fashion to what Twitteriffic users currently see (Twitteriffic runs its own ads on the free version) seems like the only real way to monetise Twitter, aside for premium subscriptions. The only question remaining is how Twitter users will accept the move after a two year free ride," he said.


Shawn Smith said...

Nice Post Julie. I agree with you about the problem of a ton of headlines in an RSS feed. But I think the simple thing is just "unfollowing" - I've unfollowed nearly every news organization I started following. However, I am still a proponent of automatic updates. The trick is to balance it with what people actually want. At our news org, we manage more than 10 twitter accounts that are more niche so they have fewer posts during a day, but they still are dominated by an RSS feed. I think as long as your news org doesn't post EVERYTHING to twitter, like NYT and others, then it's fine. You also can set up your own twitter feed to get the news that interests you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think you're right. It ought to be just breaking news. I actually like it when they mix a voice in with the headlines. I like headlines, but I really want to follow people. I don't know what Twitter's business model is (other than for someone to buy it), but I hope it doesn't kill it.

Julie Starr said...

Hi Shawn,

Thanks for your comment. I, too, have unfollowed a few news groups having got tired of being inundated. On the other hand,I really like getting news through Twitter so don't want to unfollow everyone.

In most cases it seems to be all or nothing, there doesn't seem to be a 'drip-feed' button (even if you have, as you suggested, subscribed only to feeds of interest.) So it's nice to hear that you are able to moderate your output.

I wonder, though, how easy it is for bigger news organisations to automate and have only a handful of feeds go out at a time? (I don't fully understand the technology, unfortunately.)

Aaron said...

For breaking news, we send an email. More local eyeballs see that than probably anyone who will ever use Twitter.

BTW, I see we're both following the same question about multiple accounts on twitter. Twitter should get on top of that.

Gavin Carr said...

It's even more of a problem if you track topics via twitter, because you don't have the unfollow option. I think we'll probably see more blocking and filtering options show up in clients to handle more fine-grained approaches to improving this kind of signal/noise ratio problem.

Julie Starr said...

@gavin carr, @jackd, thanks for your comments. @aaron Yep, I agree email's a great way to reach eyeballs, I just think Twitter has its place in the breaking news stable too. And yes, I wish Twitter would crack the multiple account business. Sooner the better!