The Dose - by on Monday, June 15, 2009 11:34 - 0 Comments

Monday Dose of social media: Twitter = traffic

For TechCrunch, Twitter = traffic (a statistical breakdown) — Twitter has been a big traffic driver for BeatBlogging.Org and for many other blogs and Web sites.

TechCrunch receives almost 10 percent of its traffic from Twitter. At the end of the day, we can debate whether or not Twitter makes for better journalism (it does) or for better user engagement (it does), but there is no arguing about whether or not Twitter can drive serious traffic. The answer is unequivocally yes.

Many people report using Twitter to replace RSS, and Twitter is quickly becoming a great place to discover news. All this points to the fact that smart content producers and news organizations should be on Twitter, actively engaging users. That engagement will directly lead to traffic.

How social media is radically changing the newsroom — This post is a great little rundown of not only how social media is changing newsrooms, but also some of the issues to consider, like ethics.

I think it’s good advice to keep in mind that even if you consider something your personal account, people will still link it to your company if your a public figure in any way. Journalists are often pseudo-public figures, and should keep that in mind when positing to social networks:

Journalists should keep in mind that they are representing their news organization when they use social networking tools — even if it’s their personal account.

“You’re essentially standing up in a public place and shouting something out,” according to McBride. She says that the same values of journalism that say ‘don’t put political signs in your front yard’ are the same that say ‘when you’re on Twitter, you’re representing your company.’

5 ways a community manager can help your media outlet — Community managers are quickly becoming a necessary position for any news organization that wants to take user engagement and social media seriously.

Community managers should lead newsroom engagement with the community. They should also help content producers at news organizations get on social networks and harness them properly. A community manager should also be easy accessibly for when users have questions and concerns.

It makes sense for every modern news organization (of enough size) to have a community manager. But it’s everybody’s job to engage our communities now. This is the best line of this blog post:

Shouldn’t every journalist help to manage the community?

Yes, we’re all in the community management business now.

Top 5 Twitter related trends to watch — The biggest Twitter-related trend to watch for is real-time search. ushered in a new area of real-time searching, and Twitter has become a great tool to see what people are talking about, watching, experiencing, etc in real time.

Google is really a search engine for what has happened, often days, months and years ago. It’s a poor tool for finding out what is happening now. Google and other search engine companies are starting to realize the power of real-time search and time-based searching, and we should start seeing more search products in the coming years that focus on real-time search.

For now, Twitter is fantastic tool for content producers. It’s a great way to discover news and see people talking about what is happening in their world.

The people formerly known as sources — The ability for our audiences to get information directly from the source and not us is only going to increase in the future. Journalists will have to learn how to function in this new world, where sources like the police department can directly and easily connect to the community using social media. Social media has forever changed the role of established gate keepers like newspapers.

Here is a great video from The Coast Guard discussing how social media has changed how they connect with people and how it allows them to get their message and information out without needing traditional gatekeepers:

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About was a grant-funded journalism project that studied how journalists used social media and other Web tools to improve beat reporting. It ran for about two years, ending in the fall of 2009.

New content is occasionally produced here by the this project's former editor Patrick Thornton. The site is still up and will remain so because many journalists and professors still use and link to the content. offers a fascinating glimpse into the former stages of journalism and social media. Today it's expected that journalists and journalism organization use social media, but just a few years ago that wasn't the case.

About the Author of this post
Patrick Thornton is the editor and lead writer of BeatBlogging.Org. He is @pwthornton on Twitter.