Wednesday, May 5, 2010

News Snacking at 140 Characters and Trending

By Tami Casey
Last week the Twitter world was abuzz with the news that HP had acquired Palm Computing. I noticed the first tweet at about 1:07 pm PT @siliconAlleyInsider broke the news. Seconds later, the floodgates opened with an outpouring of tweets on the topic. Then about 20 minutes after the first tweet, something interesting happened. The tone of some tweets changed. Sure people and news outlets were still tweeting about the acquisition, but now there was a new type of tweet in the mix—the “stop, I already know HP acquired Palm tweet.” In just under 20 minutes, the twitterverse had tired of the news.

As a self-proclaimed news junkie, this fatigue disturbed me. Other than an occasional tweet with a link to the press release there was only the one fact distributed in the tweets—HP had acquired Palm. It really wasn’t a story yet as many of the basics weren’t yet disseminated and even the Wall Street Journal took about 10 minutes to get out its basic story. But by the time the WSJ piece hit, the news had already been tweeted to a large audience. Soon the journalistic news stories started to hit providing more depth. But something strange happened; I didn’t click. The news felt old and dated—after all it was 30 minutes ago.

As I pondered this lack of desire to read more about the acquisition, I realized that this was happening far too often. I had a daily habit of getting the Twitter version of the news—or maybe on a good morning scanning the headlines of a news aggregator site. I was consuming my news without digesting at 140 characters at a time. It was initially satisfying, but ultimately left me empty.

So I’m asking readers to stop and take a look at how they are consuming news and to fight the urge to “snack” and “nibble” away at news. Go for more depth, actually click the links and read the content. Sure you won’t be able to cover as many topics, but you’ll have more depth of knowledge. I’m going to take the plunge because what do I actually know about the HP acquisition? Really I know nothing about it at all.

Like this article? Digg it!

No comments: