The Dispatch ran an article this morning about Twitter, prominently featuring yours truly.
It’s a pretty good take on the value of the network, coming from someone who doesn’t use the network and failed to take the 3+ week period he had to write the story to sign up, as far as I can tell.
Now, Kevin, a lot of social media people have been arguing recently that you can’t talk about social media unless you’re involved in social media. Well, that’s pretty counterproductive to your profession, because you can’t become a doctor to write a story about healthcare and you can’t become a lawyer to cover a legal matter. That logic is stupid and the people arguing it are, too. Zing. I don’t think you should have joined Twitter just because of the article.
But Kevin Joy, I still want to see you on Twitter! And I’m here to tell you personally three reasons why you need to join Twitter:
1. Sources – You’re given an assignment on – hell I don’t know – scrapbooking. I’m sure there are many numbers you can call and many other tedious ways you can go about finding sources. Or, in 140 characters or fewer, you can type “Looking for scrapbooking experts for a story. Msg me if you can help.” and have, depending on the quality of your network, 1-50 people respond, willing to help.
2. Story ideas – The journalism field loves those who can come up with interesting, engaging topics to write about on their own. As a writer for the Columbus Dispatch, you need to appeal to Columbus readers. By simply observing the conversations people in the area are having, you’re sure to find what matters the most to your audience – 10tv and NBC4 are doing it.
3. Networking – No offense, but print media isn’t doing so hot right now, and unfortunately you may be out of a job sometime in the near future. Through Twitter, you can easily and effectively connect with other journalists who, had they been following you and reading your work, might be able to hook you up with your next move.
So there you have it. I really enjoyed the article, and I think you should join the Twitterati, Mr. Joy. Here are just SOME of the other local media personalities on Twitter.
Also, some factual errors in the story, corrected for my peace of mind:
* I did not get my job or my website designed/hosted from FastFriends. I DID get both through Twitter, though, but it was before the actual “FastFriends” experiment. I’ve to this date never met the guy who hosts/designed my website.
* I did not have an actual ticket to the inauguration. I was offered a ride and a place to stay through Twitter by Angela Siefer, and then the chance to shoot video for NBC4 through Twitter.
* Also, I’m not a crazy person who cries all the time and can’t spell like this emotional Tweet makes me sound “Just sat in my car smoking a cigarette and balling [sic] my eyes out with my head on the steering wheel.” I know the article doesn’t really make me out to look like a crazy person, but I just wanted to clear that up on the record, haha. And while I am quite a baller, I clearly meant bawling, lol – cut me some slack!
And an aside: I think the beginning of the article makes Twitter sound like a place for egomaniacal jerks. The Tweet of mine pulled there, referencing the Fall Out Boy lyrics, was mostly a comical allusion to my alleged “Twitter celebrity status.” Most Twitter folk are humble and nice and not attention whores. I may or may not be an exception. ;-)