April 1, 2010

Mixing it up: Newspapers, Twitter and talking back

Odd that the same day I realize why it is hard for me to work my way through the newspapers still delivered to my house is the day I find a likeable, newspaper-like presentation of my Twitter feed.

Honestly, I did start the day determined to make my way through some of the newspapers that are piling up, demanding to be read or at least tossed. I made it through two front pages before I had a question and went to the Internet.

Next thing you know I've slipped into Google Reader, skimming, reading and, slap of the forehead, commenting. I had quickly marked 36 posts as worth sharing, or, thinking about. Most now carry a comment or a question.

Sample Google Reader items with my notes

Paper is limiting

It was while I was racing through Google Reader that it dawned on me why I find it frustrating to read the newspaper - commenting is tough and clipping articles for commenting later takes a system, takes effort.

That idea of the appeal of contributing to an article was reinforced as I skimmed a new Pew report on the news habits of Americans.  I am stopped by the idea of the growing percent of people - now 37% - who see news as place to participate, who make news a social experience.
"People use their social networks and social networking technology to filter, assess, and react to news."
They contribute to creation of news, comment or disseminate via postings on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. In fact, the report also says that more then 8 in 10 online news consumers get or share links in emails

OK, back to Twitter.

I've been drifting from Twitter lately, almost overwhelmed by the speed at which things flow past. But then, something draws me to the site and one Tweet leads to another leads to another leads to another. I'm talking with people as fast as the fingers will fly.

Today I was trying to figure out what someone from London meant when he used the word cow twice on Facebook. His explanations were not helping. I knew a few Twitters might be able to help. (I was wrong.)

Next thing you know an hour or two has slipped by and I have had a grand time on Twitter.

Fat fingers

But Faceback was calling, the obligations of pages, groups, and games. Oh, friends and family, too.

Slippery fingers, however, mean I keep clicking on Facebook ads accidentally. But this time what turned up was a "newspaper" created from the tweets of people I follow on my mcwflint Twitter account. How could I resist playing?

(Above is my mcwflint account. That's a mix of journalism, social media people, a few geeks, and ... ? Below is one from mcwgs Twitter account - it is the account where I follow mostly people involved in Girl Scouts.)

Perhaps it is my past involvement with newspapers but I like this presentation of the Twitter stream.The pulled-in content from shared links made it easy to consume a lot of content quickly.

It is pulled together from SmallRivers, a "privately held startup incorporated in Switzerland (Lausanne) and located on the Swiss Institute of Technology EPFL campus." Find it at http://paper.li

The shortcoming is that I can only get the "print edition" once a day. But it is something to ponder. (But I'm not doing so well on working my way through the newspapers.)


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