Rusbridger: Why Twitter matters for media organisations.

Then editor in chief for The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger laid out 15 points that he said Twitter did effectively.

  • Distribution – Good at spreading ideas, information and content, lots of the best tweets sent are links.
  • Things happen first on Twitter – Lots of news now breaks on Twitter and you’ll likely hear rumours first on Twitter.
  • Works as a search engine – Twitter harnesses the mass capabilities of human intelligence to find information that’s new, valuable, relevant or entertaining.
  • Aggregation tool – You can set you Twitter feed to search for any information and it will often give you the best available thus becoming your own personised news feed, following people removes the need to search for the information yourself.
  • Great reporting tool – Many top reporters use Twitter now. They can use it to request information or to find eye-witnesses to events.
  • Marketing – You can alert your followers to your posts, thus drive traffic and engagement. If people like it, they’ll retweet and it could “go viral”.
  • Common conversations – People interact like a normal conversation, they can respond, either agree or disagree or even denounce it and it’s an instant reaction.
  • Diversity – Traditional media often struggle to diversify the people involved, with Twitter, anyone can be involved.
  • It changes the tone of writing – Simply put, Twitter conversations are more personal than traditional media. They are also more humours helping to engage users.
  • Level playing field – Twitter energy gathers around those who speak crisply and entertainingly even if they are unknown personalities.
  • Different news values – Users often have different ideas of what is and isn’t news. Therefore, they can help sway newsrooms and editors if enough people are discussing something.
  • Long attentions span – If you set your feed to follow a keyword or issue, you can continue to receive information on it for a long time.
  • Creates communities – Communities form around particular issues, people, events etc. They are recognisable and can be long or short term, weak or strong.
  • Changes authority – Users will not wait to hear “expert opinions” on the news, people are much more likely to be drawn to people who are more like them.
  • Agents of change – Social media challenge conventional politics and the laws relating to expression and speech.