Most newsrooms have utterly narcissistic Twitter accounts. The worst offenders (which unfortunately is the majority) use services like Twitterfeed to automatically tweet links to the newspaper’s own content. Here’s our RSS feed on Twitter! Don’t get enough of our content on our site or through RSS? Now get it on Twitter, too!
Some newsrooms are slightly better in that there is an actual human being who uses the Twitter feed to let followers know about new content on the newsroom’s site, in a conversational tone. Still, it’s all about sharing OUR content.
Is it any wonder why so many newsrooms have fewer Twitter followers than many individuals on Twitter — especially when these newsrooms have print and web audiences numbering in the hundreds of thousands or millions — a lot more people than the average individual knows. In fact, if you look at the numbers, individual journalists typically have a lot more followers than their newsrooms.
This is a perfect example of how mainstream news orgs got so far behind on the web — they see the web as just another distribution channel for their own content. Open the chute and shovel the content in.
Can you think of any PERSON that you follow on Twitter who does nothing but link to their own blog posts? That’s not how real people use Twitter, and not how Twitter became so popular.
I would idly note this echoes some of the views I stated in a Sept. 24 post: Twittermania strikes Canadian news sites.