I had been thinking about Mathew Ingram’s “Twitter as news delivery platform” for a couple of days and today he demonstrated what he meant with a Twitter stream “analysis” of the Microsoft-Yahoo deal.
If you still believe that insightful news commentary can’t take place in 140 characters, think again.
One Twitter post “Studebaker buys Edsel” sums up the react of many in far fewer than the 140 character max in Twitter.
In the post a couple days ago, Ingram said:
… I started noticing Twitter becoming a news-delivery system when a news event came along — like the fires in California, or the death of Heath Ledger — and probably noticed it the most during the U.S. primaries. The volume of Twitter posts during the debates and the voting was incredible, and it was like a front-row seat to the action, or a really smart water-cooler discussion. Some people were watching CNN, some watching other shows, some were at actual events; it was a sea of information and opinion.
One of the posts referenced in his take was by Patrick Ruffini at techPresident.
It fills a void. Traditional news operated on a 24-hour cycle. Blogs shortened this to minutes and hours. Twitter shortens it further to seconds. It’s not right for every piece of information. It’s certainly not well suited for longer analysis. But when it comes to instantly assembling raw data from several sources that then go into fully baked news stories, nothing beats it.
I hadn’t really thought about the ever-compressing spring of the news cycle creating the opportunity for Twitter, but he has something. While news organizations have begun experimenting with Twitter, it’s the near instantaneous information from highly reputable sources — a sort of super world of mouth information system — that is really the news force.
There’s certainly a reader demand for longer pieces. Ingram wrapped up what a lot of tech bloggers were saying on the Microsoft-Yahoo deal in a excellent roundup blog piece as well as recapping his Twitter experience in another..
The Twitter stream is surprisingly deep in its collective analysis. Then again, it’s all about who you know or follow.
Maybe Ruffini is right. Twitter is this year’s Facebook and maybe we have a news cycle so tightly wound there’s only time for a staccato burst of info. I know I find it a highly useful way of finding out about things I consider to be news.
(Remember, we plan on doing some special election Twittering on Tuesday at twitter.com/knoxnews. Follow us.)