Lijit a waste of time?

Lijit looks useful. It is a search application installed on this site as a WordPress plug-in. You can see the Lijit search widget about halfway down the sidebar on the right of this screen.

In theory Lijit improves WordPress search and drags in social network content. I’ve seen no evidence of this.

After a month the plug-in was used a total of 16 times. Over that period there have been more than 5300 visitors to the site, so the strike rate is low. No-one has clicked the button in past week.

There was a fancy-looking Lijit widget, but this was the slowest-loading part of my site, so I switched back to the plain text version. This may explain why there’s so little activity.

I’m going to persevere for a few more weeks, but unless I can find a good reason to stick with Lijit, I’m going to drop the application.

Is there something important about Lijit I’m not getting here?

In memoriam Twitter

So. Farewell

Social networking

Whatever that’s supposed
to mean in English

Keith’s mum used to
Tweet things.

Like “I had
for breakfast”

And other
of wisdom

EJ Thribb age 17 1/2

(with acknowledgement to Barry Fantoni and Private Eye magazine. I was inspired to write this after reading that ‘Twitter is dead’).

Can Twitter be journalism?

Australian tech journalist Renai LeMay says Twitter is journalism*. He’s right but only up to a point.

LeMay writes;

Journalists are not simply using Twitter to promote their own work and get news tips. This is nowhere near to being the whole truth. In fact, audiences are using Twitter as a powerful tool to engage with journalists directly and force a renewal of journalism and media along lines that audiences have long demanded.

Well some are.

I follow about 25 Australian and New Zealand journalist on Twitter, about the same number of public relations people and a handful of both from elsewhere in the world. As an unscientific rule of thumb, I’d say only 40 percent of journalists are using Twitter in the way LeMay suggests.

About the same number simply use it as a way of promoting their online stories. In other words they aren’t joining the conversation, they are simply using Twitter as a broadcast medium. I suspect, but can not prove, this usually is because of dumb managerial restrictions on their use of the technology. A small percentage dabble in engagement, going on and off line depending on their workload (I’m sometimes personally guilty of switching off Twitter when there’s a looming deadline and a huge number of words to write).

The remainder are still in the dull “morning tweeps” and “I had muesli for breakfast” or the more disturbing narcissistic school of Twittering.

* The original site is now dead