Some journalists’ fascination with Twitter

Both the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Telegraph published stories about Twitter yesterday.

As a way of bringing this micro-blogging / text chatting / social network / service to the attention of a wider UK public, both papers have done a good job for their combined circulation of nearly 3 million.

Unfortunately, both papers have done it in a way that demonstrates the journalists’ (and their editors’) utter lack of understanding of the social and business drivers underpinning much of the growth in use of Twitter by more and more people, focusing as they have on celebrities and the seeming triviality of their daily lives.

A great deal of what people twitter about is indeed the trivial and the mundane. Take a look at my own Twitter stream, for instance, and you’ll see that quite easily. Yet trivial-seeming chit-chat is very much at the heart of how we often relate to others and dismissing Twitter the way both of these mainstream media have done illustrates their own lack of imaginations.

Either that or it’s trivial content just to grab attention. It’s notable that both papers have a very similar focus, leading with Britney Spears’ use of Twitter (oh dear, poor soul).

While I wasn’t surprised to see the Mail’s story, the Telegraph’s did surprise me a bit given some of their recent and very good reporting about Twitter.

So go ahead and read “How boring: Celebrities sign up to Twitter to reveal the most mundane aspect of their lives” and “Twitter reveals mundane lifestyles of celebrities.” Have a bit of a laugh.

Then take a look at these recent and rather more thoughtful and useful mainstream media stories:

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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