Is Twitter Changing Your News Habits?

Filed as Features, Guides on January 23, 2008 9:00 am

How do you get your news? In the past I have variously read newspapers, watched TV news bulletins, read news.bbc.co.uk and obviously more recently sites such as Digg. Now it seems I get most of my news from Twitter.

First of all there are the newsbots. These are RSS feeds pumped straight into Twitter. Most big news providers have them, my choice of news as mentioned before is the BBC so I subscribe to a selection of BBC topics from this list. As something gets posted I get a 140 character “tweet”.

Then there are the blogger Tweets. I don’t read TechCrunch now either on the web or in my RSS reader. There is no point when Duncan and co Tweet the big stuff.

It’s not just about using Twitter as an RSS reader either. The conversations change when anything big is happening. You pick up mentions and link drops pretty much as soon as the collective Twitter consciousness becomes aware. In fact as my subscription list of people I follow grows I am finding Twitter often scoops the places I would usually turn to, with the added benefit of all the opinion and analysis that follows.

Twitter started out as “what are you doing” but it has changed. Now it isn’t just about harmless breakfast ingredient blather, over-sharings and low grade flirting, there are some clever and interesting folk discussing intelligent topics too.

Is Twitter changing your news reading habits too?

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  1. By David Krug posted on January 23, 2008 at 9:22 am
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    Chris,
    I agree I really noticed this today. Very revolutionary absorption of news what’s a newspaper I’ve got friends to share the news with me now.

    Reply

  2. By Rhys posted on January 23, 2008 at 9:26 am
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    Twitter is fast becoming my main news source. I follow the bloggers I want on it, rather than my feeds.

    Plus, it is rather reassuring to know that Darren Rowse is also an XL T-shirt size :)

    Reply

  3. By Chris Garrett posted on January 23, 2008 at 9:47 am
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    @David – I find the news is more to my taste when coming from friends too

    @Rhys – The sad truth is Darren has XL shirts because of his arnie-like physique, whereas my XL shirts is because of my huge gut ;)

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  4. By Baddie posted on January 23, 2008 at 9:48 am
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    Twitter has been my main news source for several months now. I get all kinds of updates; from local news to international headlines. Also, it has become my mini RSS reader. I tend to visit the people who post tweets about their new blog posts more than non Twitter blogger folk.

    Reply

  5. By Rhys posted on January 23, 2008 at 10:31 am
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    @Chris – True, but you try fitting “I’m getting a large t-shirt as opposed to an extra large t-shirt to show my arnold schwartzenneger physique off, as opposed to the rest of the blogging world who stick to extra large as they have beer guts” into 140 characters ;)

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  6. By Bob posted on January 23, 2008 at 5:05 pm
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    Good idea. Now I can stop reading this website and remove it from my RSS feeds. Just see when someone impartial twitters it, which will be irregular.

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  7. By Jersey Todd posted on January 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm
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    Interestingly, Twitter has changed that news gets reported. Yesterday, when Heath Ledger passed there was a clamor among the Twitterati to be the “first” to post the breaking news story. This led to people posting links hours late, but the desire to “scoop” other posters was clearly present.

    Of course, being the first one to repost someone else’s breaking news doesn’t necessarily qualify as a scoop – maybe as a “double scoop.”

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  8. By buzzbishop posted on January 23, 2008 at 11:13 pm
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    I wrote about this topic yesterday as well. I dont know what it is about the Heath news that struck me, but it just seemed to be a wildfire across the workplace spreading the news.

    It got me thinking.. radio used to be the immediate method of gathering news. Now is it Facebook statii? Text message? Email alerts? or Twitter?

    Probably all of the above, depending on the users level of internet-ification.

    http://www.buzzbishop.com/blog/2008/01/22/james-brown-is-dead/

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  9. By Annie posted on January 24, 2008 at 7:56 am
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    Definitely. Big or important news bubbles through Twitter incredibly quickly. It acts as a filter, too. Since I only follow people I share interests with, the topics they find newsworthy are things I’d find newsworthy, too. For the big stories I follow one bot, BreakingNewsOn, then go to other sites for details.

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