Notes from #ncmc09 – To Tweet or not to Tweet

Andy Dehnart from Reality Blurred demoed Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, and Google Voice among other things at the ACP/CMA 2009 conference. He started with a recap of how Facebook fan pages can benefit your news organization. Among other things the insights that Facebook offers could prove useful to figuring out how effective campaigns are.

He said that while a few years ago Google was the main traffic source for his site it has now become Twitter and Facebook. He says that “you need to speak to people where they already are” and that the top “neighborhoods” for online activity are now those sites.

Next up was Twitter and a quick introduction to how it works and how to use it. Andy mentioned that you need a solid vision of what you’ll be using Twitter for before you just start posting tweets. There needs to be a purpose in order for it to be effective for your news organization.

Quote URL was mentioned and looks like an interesting tool for aggregating conversations or reactions to a specific topic. You’re able to enter in links to various tweets and then Quote URL aggregates them into a central list.

Toward the end the subject moved to general site comments. Andy said that if you don’t yet have comments “it’s worth having a conversation about whether you want and/or need comments.” He cited the concerns over turning the comments list into a string of irrelevant posts. The takeaway: make sure that people will be using the comments and that you have a clear purpose for wanting them.

Much of the general conversation centered around how to make all of these tools as frictionless as possible. For both Facebook and Twitter tools that turned your stream into an automatic RSS list dump were brought up as great and efficient solutions.

After the demo some asked how much standard English conventions matter on Twitter. Andy’s response was that it really depends on your audience and purpose. If they won’t be bothered then it won’t be as large of a concern. However, there need to be some parameters and guidelines set beforehand so that everyone is clear going into the tool.

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