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How should news sites use Twitter?

The New York Times appointed a new social media editor – Jennifer Preston –  this week. On Twitter suggestions for how the NYT should use Twitter poured in. Here are ten of the best suggestions she received:

When words came out about the new appointment Jennifer Preston’s Twitter account (@NYT_JenPreston) had zero – yes, zero! – updates.  From the outside one could wonder why a person who seemed to be very passive in using social media herself was given such an important position.

Yet Jennifer Preston has been a quick learner. She started out by asking: “How should @nytimes be using Twitter?” And suggestions have been pouring in. For some of them Preston has responded. She has also promised to sum up what she considers the best ideas.

As this topic should be of interest to any media company I have compiled this summary of some of the suggestions Preston have received during the week:

  • Participate in conversation. Ask questions, but make sure you interact. (@mattsingley)
  • Let us follow specific reporters in the field, even as they gather info for their stories (@wac6)
  • Personality matters. We want bloggers who like people and are naturally curious. (@hearthouse)
  • Put a “Tweet this” on all of your articles (@CatherinVentura)
  • Post shortened NYT urls with each article so people know the source is NYT (@rar624)
  • Create and standardize hashtags on breaking news (@rkellett)
  • Get feeds that are individuals commenting on stories and participating in the dialogue, not just headlines and links. (@undeadgoat)
  • Monitor Twitter for complaints (@jronaldlee)
  • Use it to break stories -all your reporters should use Twitter (@televisionsnow)
  • Let reporters twitter about all the questions there was no time to investigate and spur discussions (@gwbstr)

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About the author: Experienced media manager and journalist. Enthusiastic about digital media – and eager amateur photographer. Currently Chief Communications Officer at Schibsted Tech Polska in Krakow, Poland.

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