Making social media more sociable

I follow more than 1,800 people on Twitter.
I say people, but some of them are organisations, news websites – not to mention the official feed of Plymouth Argyle.
But it’s the people that I go to Twitter for, and who provide the glorious mixture of madness, insight and irreverence that makes it such a daily delight.
And so it’s always nice to see journalists tweeting in their own right about the stories they’re working on.
When I was a news editor all those days ago, I enjoyed keeping up the occasional running commentary on issues we were covering – and stories we were chasing.
Amid the welter of rumour, half-truth and gossip, people still turn to what might be described as the traditional (Are we traditional any more? Let’s hope not so much, these days) media for the definitive version of events.
One of the country’s most experienced and engaging editors, the Oxford Mail’s Simon O’Neill was in action earlier today:

One of our Local World editors, Tamworth Herald boss Gary Phelps, provides a kind of running daily news conference via Twitter, talking about the stories coming into his newsroom, and highlighting the odd cracking picture.

He’s also guilty of the odd ‘joke’, sadly.

At another Local World title, Nottingham Post editor Mike Sassi also showcases his staff’s best stuff.

As I get into my stride in my new job, it’s gratifying to see how many journalists have their own Twitter accounts.
But it would be lovely to see more journalists breaking out of their perceived shackles to offer emotional and factual insights into their work, and to offer a glimpse of the processes, priorities and problems that make up the modern, multimedia, ethical newsroom.
Of course, the real work in bringing people to our websites will always largely be done by our branded Twitter and Facebook accounts.
But time spent showing that there are real human beings behind them is never time wasted.


2 thoughts on “Making social media more sociable

  1. We have got to be hunam as well? Oh dear

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