to twitter where no one has twittered before

The PG's Brian O. has an honest column over the weekend on his views about modern communications, in particular his aversion to Twitter. The only active twitter feed I am aware of coming from a local journalist is Bob Mayo's, but I suspect there are others?

Kudos for honesty and his insight that PG management is encouraging the use of twitter. That in itself represents a sea change in perspective on the state of the world from what has been typical of the PG in the past. I still can't help but remember Tony N's very public confoundedness sending the lawyers after the evil commenters of the Internet. I ranted on that once, but honestly his column speaks for itself. Not to just poke at the PG, I still am a bit speechless at Mike S's column a few months ago in the Trib decrying the impact of blogging. I wish I could just write that off as an outlier, but I know first hand that Mike's thoughts are shared in one form or another by more than a few other local print journalists.

This isn't meant to be as harsh as it comes across, but Brian's piece may have summed up the entire problem the newspaper industry has connecting with potential younger readers. There is news/research out recently that: More Than Half of Voters Used Internet for Election News. Newspapers are for sure not the only industry having a problem relating to younger generations. An image I swiped from a Navy presentation once is really telling. Take a look at a snapshot of The Youth of Tomorrow. If you look at this slide and say 'wow' or even 'interesting' you are in trouble. Many would look at it and be unimpressed with how little new insight it gives. Imagine a presentation in the 1970's telling marketers that TV was becoming a major source of news. The sad truth is there is nothing 'tomorrow' about that slide, it is already the youth of yesterday in several ways. Nonetheless, that slide lays out newspapers' future audience if they want to survive the passing of the rotary phone generation.

But back to twitter which is here whether we like it or not. Might even be already past its prime and the question is what comes next? How important is Twitter? There are some great examples of the power of twitter. More than one journalist owes their freedom to twitter. Hopefully that is not a concern for Brian's beat here in Pittsburgh, but still. There is help. From our friends across the pond: How to: master Twitter, if you're a journalist.

Finally, Brian mentions he himself is of the rotary phone generation sort of. There was a time when even that was a scary new technology. Times change via one of my favorite YouTube clips:

Maybe we can take Brian to a new corner of the Internet world. Think he has ever posted a comment on a blog post? Hint. :-)


12 Responses to "to twitter where no one has twittered before"

evergrey said... 4/19/2009 11:23 AM

China Millman has a twitter!

audrey r said... 4/19/2009 1:09 PM

Read today, Sunday (4/19/09) NY Times: Let them Eat Tweets: why Twitter is a Trap.


Bram Reichbaum said... 4/19/2009 9:32 PM

Jim Lokay is widely followed on Twitter. Maria Leaf also.

I don't get all these anti-Twitter, anti-Facebook, anti-connectivity, anti-whatever the kids are doing columns flooding the market (and there are a lot of them). Don't they realize they may as well be criticizing Elvis Presley and his awful, swiveling hips? I don't like the show Lost, but a lot of people seem to enjoy it and I'm not under any impression that my opinion is important enough to fill a column and get paid for it.

What is it about Twitter that arouses such irritation? For that matter, what is it about blogging? What is it about a little self-expression that so gets under some people's skin?

For goodness sake people, write about city government for a change. News people can use, what.

jet said... 4/19/2009 10:15 PM

Maybe we chip in and buy 'em all copies of Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody"

Anonymous said... 4/20/2009 4:51 PM

There's no such thing as bad publicity. Thank you, Chris.

Brian O'Neill

Anonymous said... 4/21/2009 10:42 AM

You've got to check out the Twitter stream at this school board candidate's website

Bram Reichbaum said... 4/21/2009 10:56 AM

Ha! He took you up on it! Nice.

Those of us with a closer kinship to Andy Rooney than Ashton Kutcher should not be mocked for dawdling while others sprint.A generous sentiment -- except that by selecting the name "Ashton Kutcher" of all possible names, a subtle mocking antipathy is made loud and clear.

But hey - I'm glad the paper's masters are seeking to recruit bold Twitter pioneers. Who is Tweeting at the Gazette these days, anyway? Have there been any takers?

Anonymous said... 4/21/2009 12:02 PM

China Millman.

Bram Reichbaum said... 4/21/2009 9:47 PM

Comment of the night: "Hello? Twitter is only FIVE YEARS OLD."

China Millman: Cool. Restaurant criticism and A&E is pretty cool. But I think Rich Lord ought to just bit the bullet and Twitter already. It's surprisingly low-maintenance; you don't need to "follow" anybody else if you don't want to.

Mark Rauterkus said... 4/23/2009 8:42 PM

Jim L = 434 Followers. Good stuff too. = 868

GlobalPittsburgh said... 4/30/2009 1:46 PM

I'm twittering (@globalpgh) and blogging and facebooking and linkedin-ning - lots of social network marketing. I used to be a print journalist - Pittsburgh Press 1987-92.
Some people are taking longer than others to realize the value of Twitter, etc. I'm finding it's a good way to get the information I want, and I think others are slowly discovering the same. I don't really care what someone's having for lunch, but I like to know quickly when Arlen Specter changes parties (first learned it on Twitter).
I welcome all Retweets.

Thomas Buell, Jr.
Lead Partner
VERSO PARTNERS: Communications
6625 Virginia Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15202
T: 412.720.2218
F: 412.291.1851
Skype: TomBuell

GlobalPittsburgh said... 4/30/2009 1:56 PM

The P-G has its own Twitter account with links to the website. Same with Trib, Biz Times, City Paper, Pittsburgh magazine, Imagine Pittsburgh, tv stations, radio stations. It's moving fast.

Thomas Buell, Jr.
Lead Partner
VERSO PARTNERS: Communications
6625 Virginia Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15202
T: 412.720.2218
F: 412.291.1851
Skype: TomBuell

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