We can't take the old ways for granted and the old ways are no longer centuries or scores of years old. In some cases, they are merely a few years. It is dangerous to each of our futures to get stuck with what used to be proper or correct. I've been writing about how the top-down world is crashing or, at least, being massively disrupted, as the bottom-up revolution continues to proceed at a breakneck speed. In all aspects of our lives things are changing. It is not wonder or surprise that changes in the media are making big waves. Craigslist alone, with its free classified ads, has accelerated the end of the print newspaper. The crash of the automobile manufacturing titans, with the loss of thousands of dealerships has cut automobile advertising massively, further adding coffin nails to the newspaper world.
As these seismic events hurtle through our lives, it can be unsettling to experience the sequellae that result in response to these events. Some of them can be simple, yet earthshaking.
This week, a few things went through my life.
1-I interviewed Maggie Jackson, author of DISTRACTED, on my radio show. We talked about how attention spans are shortening, how changes in attention are changing the world, in some ways, bringing about a new dark age.
2-The number of followers I have on twitter passed 1000-- up from about 800 two weeks ago. It had taken me about a year to reach 800. Needless to say, in that two week period, I figured a few things out.
3- My website, OpEdNews.com was twitterized. We added a collection of new tools and widgets, using the twitter API, integrating twitter into the OEN website, with some innovations that may not be available anywhere else.
4- This week, I wrote three articles on twitter, including this one.
-URL Shorteners are For More than Shortening URLs
-OpEdNews Has Been Twitterized
-Why You Should Twitter... on OpEdNEws and beyond
flickr image by ChicÃ³...
-I'm convinced twitter is not going to go away-- that it has become an important part of the media mix-- the NEW media mix-- which is the future of media. So I'm thinking about it a lot and taking steps to enable our users to tap its power.
One of the features of the Twitterization of the website produces a new content category on OpEdNews.com. It appears as a column below the diary column. When you create a tweet, it will appear in the Tweets column. And we're enabling users to add a lot more text than the usual tweet includes. We're hoping that you will use the new content category as a way to start conversations where you don't have a whole diary or article's worth of words to say.
I did a tweet, and because my submissions are automatically headlined, the tweet was headlined. It doesn't look like your ordinary headline. It looks like a smart tweet. What's a smart tweet? It's a 140 character or less submission to twitter which uses a somewhat sophisticated understanding of how to get the most out of twitter, reaching the maximum number of people.
This is it:
Dennis Kucinich; Exciting #SinglePayer #Healthcare Update click here(This raised the hackles of some OEN senior editors. What was this THING, this strange collection of words that did not look like a headline?
It raised the question. Does this belong among headlines?
I don't have an answer yet. My reflex reaction was... okay, I'll pull it. And I did. But maybe we need to think about this. The news is becoming more and more bottom up. Some sites are totally driven by clicks and views, like DIGG and related social networking news sites. Some take a hybrid approach-- looking at recommends, comments, page views, plus editor decisions.
Adding a new content category-- a tweets category-- we expect a lot of tweets and hoped that some of those tweets would be commented on-- that tweets would turn into threaded comments on the site. We hope that some people who don't have the inclination to write something longer, but who have good questions, good observations, will get the conversation started. Will it work? I'm not sure. Should we headline some of these? Can we include Tweets as a part of the headlines? That's the question I'm raising. What do you think?