Tag Archives: Twitterfeed

An experiment in creating an ‘Auto-Debunker’ twitter account

As the conspiracy theories flew around last Friday, one in particular caught fire: the idea that the News Of The World might have been closed down because it would then allow for its assets – i.e. incriminating evidence – to be destroyed.

Perhaps because it was published under the Reuters brand (although the byline abrogated them of any responsibility for its contents) by the end of the day it had accumulated over 4,000 retweets.

I had already personally tweeted a couple of those users to point out that comments on the article had quickly debunked its argument. And by 6.26 that evening David Allen Green had published an explanation of the flaws in a piece at the New Statesman.

But people were still retweeting: how to connect the two?

Creating @autodebunker

It took me all of 20 minutes to hack together a simple automated service that would reply to people retweeting the Reuters blog post. Continue reading

Advertisements

Which blog platform should I use? A blog audit

When people start out blogging they often ask what blogging platform they should use – WordPress or Blogger? Tumblr or Posterous? It’s impossible to give an answer, because the first questions should be: who is going to use it, how, and what and who for?

To illustrate how the answers to those questions can help in choosing the best platform, I decided to go through the 35 or so blogs I have created, and why I chose the platforms that they use. As more and more publishing platforms have launched, and new features added, some blogs have changed platforms, while new ones have made different choices to older ones. Continue reading

Live coverage on Twitter – useful or just plain annoying?

My live coverage of the Investigative Journalism Goes Global conference seemed to polarise opinion among the Twitterati. The Guardian’s Neil McIntosh and Charles Arthur, the BBC’s Bill Thompson, and Pete Ashton all unsubscribed from my updates – and those were just the ones I know about. Continue reading

How journalists can master Twitter (blogger’s cut)

The following is a longer version of the article that appeared in Journalism.co.uk last week, with some extra tools and quotes.

It’s almost impossible to sum up Twitter in one line. To some, it is a way of delivering content to mobiles as headline text alerts. To others, it’s a social networking tool for getting contacts and leads. Some use it as a research tool for developing stories; and still others as a project management tool to gather a number of contributors together – for example, drivers posting updates on traffic.

In other words, it is what you make it and the only way to figure it out is to start using it. The following is a guide to getting started on Twitter as a journalist, and some of the things that can be done with it. Continue reading

Twitter shovelware and other microblogging experiments

This post is part of a ‘blog carnival’. Read more at CarnivalOfJournalism.com. The story so far (in updates of 140 characters or less):

  1. I set up a Twitter account, toy with it for a few minutes, then ignore it.
  2. Months later, I return to my Twitter account to cover the Future of Newspapers conference – a perfect use for the technology.
  3. Following a tip from Martin Stabe, I use Twitterfeed to push my blog’s posts – and, equally importantly, comments – to my Twitter page, in the process probably doubling the total amount of ‘tweets’ overnight.
  4. At the same time, Martin comes at it from a different angle, and pushes his Twitter posts to his blog.
  5. Realise I am guilty of ‘Twitter-shovelware’
  6. Feel privately chuffed at inventing the phrase ‘Twitter-shovelware
  7. Think of a better use for Twitterfeed, and create a new Twitter account for my del.icio.us bookmarks tagged ‘onlinejournalism’. It already has an RSS feed, but feeding it to Twitter allows people to receive it on their mobiles or as a ‘river’ on their Twitter page.
  8. Realise I will probably annoy people who have to delete ten texts every day I do some bookmarking.
  9. Getting even more carried away, I realise I can also use Twitterfeed to create an aggregation of the 70+ online journalism-related RSS feeds I subscribe to.
  10. Decide to use Yahoo! Pipes as part of this, which has been on my ‘To Do’ list since May.
  11. Discover that Yahoo! Pipes not only generates an RSS feed, but also options for mobile and email alerts.
  12. But the process of setting up those alerts is not as usable as Twitter, so set up the Twitter ojblogaggregator account anyway (there are only around 20 feeds included so far, but will continue to add more as I iron out bugs).
  13. Also discover three other ‘online journalism’ Pipes, one of which has been created by a former student. Feel proud.
  14. Then realise he never finished it. Feel proud regardless.
  15. Also realise I can use ‘View Source’ to build on the work of the other OJ aggregator – and that anyone can do the same to build on mine.
  16. Result!