26 March 2008

Twitter 'Drives Traffic Through Conversation'

Mainstream news providers need to get to grips with the two-way nature of Twitter to reap the traffic rewards.

That’s the view of new media journalist and blogger Patrick Thornton, who reckons traditional news organisations are yet to realise the full benefits of the microblogging application.

According to the US-based web developer, most newspapers have “missed the point” about Twitter and utilise it solely as a headline feed.

“If you use Twitter as merely another one-way conversation tool, it will be nothing more than a really poor version of RSS,” states Thornton.

He adds: “But if you use Twitter as the two-way communication tool that it is, not only will you be able to drive traffic, but you’ll most likely be able to discover new readers and users.”

Writing on his blog The Journalism Iconoclast, Thornton outlines three ways Twitter could be used by newspaper journalists looking to increase their page views.

• Initiate conversation

Use Twitter to discuss stories you’re currently covering, enabling fellow users to ask questions.

• If you write a blog - you should be Twittering

Reporters who have a blog or column can use a Twitter account to share bite-sized versions of their opinions and to interact with readers.

• Go live

Journalists could use Twitter to cover local government meetings, using the tool as both a way of making notes for writing up later and to get other people involved in the process as it’s happening.

If you want to know more about Twitter, visit its FAQs page.

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