This will be the part that makes people mad and that makes me decidedly “unfuture” of media: I really try not to get my news from Twitter, which has a reputation as a place where people go and find lots of great news. I find it a place you go to find, I guess, your barbecued potato chips.
A lot of stuff that is kind of interesting, mostly not that good. And it’s absolutely chewed over into cud by the time you get there. So I’ve been making a concerted effort to create structure on my computer using different kinds of software and so forth, that forces me to get less of my news from social media, and more of it by reading my RSS feed, which are blogs, or going to other news sites.
Ezra Klein, as quoted by Conor Friedersdorf in Ezra Klein’s Case Against Getting Your News from Twitter, The Atlantic.
FJP: Very related and very helpful is Paul Bradshaw’s A Network Infrastructure for Journalists Online, which is an introduction to RSS readers, social networks and social bookmarking.
The partnership between Comedy Central, a cable cannel owned by Viacom, and Twitter represents the evolving relationship between television and social media. Twitter is often incorporated into programming with viewers using the site as a second screen while watching live television. But slowly, Twitter is becoming an outlet on which to watch video.
Amy Chozick, The New York Times. A Comedy Show That Comes via a Hashtag.
Next week, Comedy Central is hosting a comedy show almost entirely on Twitter, with comedians posting video clips and jokes using the hashtag #ComedyFest. It’s an experiment to get users to watch video directly on Twitter, rather than use Twitter as a second screen while watching TV.
As early as next month, Comedy Central will introduce a free, ad-supported app, called CC: Stand-Up. Designed to look and feel like a cable channel devoted to stand-up, the app will offer videos of comedians performing routines.
A recommendation algorithm (similar to the one used by Amazon) will allow users to discover new comedians. If you watched Jeff Ross, for example, a web of other comics would pop up based on routines with similar topics (like mass transit), style (like dark humor) or other relationships (both like marshmallows).
Twitter elicits a more poisonous information anxiety. It moves so fast that if I’m not continuously checking in, I completely lose track of the conversation — and it’s almost impossible to figure out what happened three hours ago, much less two days ago. I can’t save Twitter for later, and thus there’s always a pressure to check Twitter now. Twitter ends up taking more of my time than I’d like it to, as there’s a constant reason to check it rather than, say, reading a magazine article.
Ezra Klein, The Washington Post. The Problem with Twitter.
Klein is reacting to Nick Beaudrot’s piece about Twitter, which is an account of why he’s not returning to Twitter after giving it up for Lent until he can figure a way to sort the useless from the useful. Beaudrot graphs Twitter content as 10% links to interesting things and 90% faff, snark and debates better suited to blogging.
FJP: Obviously Twitter has its unbeatable pros as well, and Klein does appreciate them. See reader comments on the piece for some organization solutions to his laments, one of which is to build lists. For tips on how to built newsy twitter lists, see our post here.