Advantages of Twitter for the news

Twitter was launched in March of 2006.  It is a micro blogging site that allows its users to advertise their thoughts, pictures, videos, and businesses within a certain word count.  Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone are the creators of this micro blog.

When I was first introduced to this social media outlet, I laughed.  How the hell will a site that only allows its subscribers to share their thoughts in 250 words or less thrive?  I thought this site will just be composed of a couple thousands of people with nothing to do, but complain.  Little did I know, six years later, I’d join those complainers.

While the site has its fair share of useless information, jokes, and celebrity promotions; it is a useful news outlet.  We shouldn’t; however, confuse Twitter with a dependable or reliable news source.  Instead, Twitter should direct us to a dependable news source.  This social media site should be a way of providing convenient and resourceful updates on news stories.  Additionally, the Twitter feed or tweets should supply just enough information without giving the whole story away.  Just like an introduction of any good news article, the tweet must provide the essentials-who, what, when, where, why-while still leaving the readers wanting more (hook).  When news sites provide tweets more attention, views, and web traffic will be generated.

We’re living in a digital age; thus, more corporations-news and non-news- should take advantage of social media.  Social media sites draw in over 1 billion users a year.  With so many users, everyone has something to talk about, share, comment, or like.  If we want to keep the readers engaged, we must cater to their interests and schedules.

Of course Twitter has the ability to turn our brains into mush.  Of course it has the ability to dumb down the reader with one sentence news statements.  But if new sources utilize it correctly, Twitter has the capability to educate and update the public. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have had Twitter accounts ever since the launch of Twitter.  Each account distributes tweets almost every five minutes and provides links to recent pictures, videos, and articles.

In today’s paper (Sept. 27), The NYTimes and The WSJ published articles regarding the impact mankind has on global warming.  The WSJ published a piece entitled, “U.N. Says Humans Are ‘Extremely Likely’ Behind Global Warming.”  The WSJ then published two tweets regarding today’s story.  NYTimes writer, Justin Gillis, published: “U.N. Climate Panel Endorses Ceiling on Global Emissions.” The NYTimes retweeted one tweet regarding the global warming and emissions article.

The WSJ provides more fluff stories within their tweets; whereas, the NYTimes provides top stories regarding global issues and the economy.  In order to better utilize Twitter, both sites need to create a catchy slug or one word that describes the story, formulate a brief yet informative tweet, supply links, and provide continuous updates.  It’s not enough to simply provide one tweet for stories.  Stories need to be tweeted and updated continuously.  The fluff and entertainment pieces; though, shouldn’t receive as much coverage as the top stories.  Twitter is meant to entertain; however, news sources should not provide solely entertainment stories.   The WSJ and NYTimes isn’t an entertainment site; so why provide entertainment/fluff tweets?  Stories like this (global warming) may not be popular, but they are top stories that need to be covered.  Besides these stories have the capability of becoming popular with the use of social media sites like Twitter.



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