How Mainstream Media Journalists should Leverage Twitter

Mass Media – Marketwatch, NYT, USA Today – publishes articles and can be deluged with thousands of comments. The first twenty or so distill the various viewpoints of an article, and ploughing through the rest of them becomes senseless, like walking through a comments graveyard. Voting up/down comments can filter the more significant ones, and the publishers should display the highest rated comments first.

Here’s one more journalist – Marketwatch’s David Weidner – who has succumbed to the simple broadcast nature of Twitter in the hopes of producing a distilled soundbyte message as an alternative to that mountainous commentary.

Technology always is bringing us new ways to share ideas. The comments section of MarketWatch is one of those, but let’s be honest: The posts are often too long for readers to sort through, and the conversation can degenerate into a stew of ideas that make interest-rate swaps look easy.
So I’ve decided to follow the lead of some of my colleagues by creating a Twitter account. The great thing about Twitter is that contributors have to be concise. Posts have a 140-character limit, so everyone has a level playing field. There’s a lot of value in keeping it short and sweet, as many readers have told me.
We can also talk about some issues that haven’t been mentioned in the column. It can be a place where anything goes, and I promise to interact by asking questions and responding. That’s the kind of participation I haven’t been able to provide to the comments section — which, of course, is still a great place to leave your thoughts. I will continue to read it.
I’ll also use Twitter to let people know when I’m doing TV on Fox Business or CNBC or making an appearance on another media outlet. Let’s see how it goes, and thanks for giving it a try. Go to David Weidner’s Twitter page.

What’s significant is David’s implicit admission that he has no idea what he is going to do on Twitter (which is ok) – 1/3 broadcast stuff, 1/3 communication and 1/3 PR on his media wherabouts…

What David should do is follow more Twittering market journalists, pundits, economists, and bloggers so his Followers (us) can view a comprehensive lens of David’s sphere of market interpreters. And by us following David’s network, we can vicariously watch the Twitter conversations that would take place among this mainstream media group. This real time commentary would be the equivalent of watching a ticker tape of pundit Twitter feeds below CNBC business news, all in real time… I’d bet many business TV watchers would find that intriguing. The online analogy would be watching David’s Friendfeed, the next application he will have to figure out.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.

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