Twitter Reporting: How Is It Used?

In a previous post I outlined my initial impressions of Twitter Reporting. Well, how does Twitter see itself?

Here are Twitter’s own words:
“An information network.”
“Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest …about what you find interesting.”
“You can see photos, videos and conversations directly in Tweets to get the whole story at a glance, (emphasis mine) and all in one place.”
“You don’t have to build a web page to surf the web, and you don’t have to tweet to enjoy Twitter. …. You can contribute, or just listen in and retrieve up-to-the-second information.”

At its most basic, “Twitter Reporting” is to use the social medium to disseminate information.
How do the legacy news media use Twitter? Traditional news media outlets use it as a way to distribute information. In one analysis, 93% of media outlets linked back to their own website; 6% had no links at all; and the other 1% linked to another site (both news and non-news sites).

In other words, by and large the news media do not use the medium in the way Twitter promotes how it should be used. Twitter promotes itself as a way to share and to have a global conversation. Linking back to one’s own website is not a conversation.

A Pew report found that in general, traditional media are not concerned with engaging their followers in a 2-way conversation, do not share content generated by others, and do not curate material on any given topic.
(How Mainstream Media Outlets Use Twitter. 11 14, 2011. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2130/twitter-news-organizations).

This does not mean there’s anything wrong with the way legacy media use Twitter; it just means that they do not use Twitter the way Twitter itself promotes itself as being optimally used.
Other news media uses of Twitter include: discover story ideas, get background to a story, find sources of information, track down leads and ideas, network, and gather photos and videos.
That is how the media is using Twitter.

How about the average person? Pew Research indicates users are not using Twitter to get news. By and large people go directly to news organization websites to get digital versions of the news. Getting the latest news on Twitter is done less frequently.
(Mitchell, A., Rosenstiel, T., & Christian, L. (n.d.). The State of the News Media 2012. http://stateofthemedia.org/2012/mobile-devices-and-news-consumption-some-good-signs-for-journalism/what-facebook-and-twitter-mean-for-news/)

(to be continued……
Next: A practical Use of Twitter for Many.)

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