“Using Twitter doesn’t ensure that you’re embracing change and racing into the digital future. But refusing to use Twitter actively is a certain sign that you think change is someone else’s job.”

Buttry is writing here about journalists and journalism, but the sentiment applies to any other line of work involving communications.

6 thoughts on “Editors who don’t use Twitter undercut their pleas to innovate

  1. To me, if Twitter can be considered a legitmate necessary resource for journalists, that does not imply they need to tweet. They just need to read other people’s tweets.

      • Could you explain? I don’t use Twitter and am not a journalist so I don’t understand how. To me it seems reading the tweets is all that is needed?

  2. @beaverusiv – In this sense there are two parts to Twitter. There’s the ability to read tweets. Journalists do that to get up to date news feeds and to feel the pulse on issues. It’s quite possible to sit there lurking, doing this and nothing else. I suspect there are many journalists who fall into this category. It’s the equivalent of sitting in the corner at, well anything really, observing and maybe taking notes. That’s definitely part of journalism.

    Then there’s the bit where we ask questions and tease out more information. Those pesky “who, what, why, when” questions. Just doing a little bit of that generally means you get a better picture. Again this is something you could do if you were sitting in the corner and questioned others about what’s going on.

    So for example, if ask someone “how do you find the screen on the new gizmo?”. I learn a little more than I could just from watching tweets whizz by.

    Keep this up and you quickly learn more about which sources of information are valuable. You’re already getting more out of Twitter than just watching.

    Most journalists post links to their stories. If they JUST do this, and there’s no other Twitter interaction, they are effectively using it as a broadcast medium. That’s possible. A lot of company accounts treat Twitter just that way — it’s why I don’t follow them.

    the really great bit comes where readers tweet back, either with clarifications, corrections, criticisms or as new facts come to life. An engaged journalist using Twitter can get all these — often they are valuable — and thus get a lot more out of Twitter than just lurking.

    • I didn’t think about the asking questions. Indeed it could be used for that. As someone who doesn’t use Twitter most tweets that get shared off the network are so vapid they make you wanna never try it. Obviously they aren’t a complete dissection of the platform.

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