I’ve been fortunate enough to test the TweetDeck User Streams Preview in a private beta over the last month, which enables TweetDeck to display a constant flow of Tweets, unencumbered by API rate limiting, in true real time. Last week User Streams entered public beta, and if you haven’t tried it, do it. Real-time Twitter is something Twitter veterans haven’t seen since May of 2008, and a vast majority of Twitter users have never really experienced it (unless they were among the few to turn on SMS updates for everybody). While this isn’t honest-to-God Twitter over XMPP (though the Streaming API will make such an application possible once more), this isn’t a bad alternative. Give it a try and let me know if you are overwhelmed — I know I was at first (I follow over 1700 people and bots on Twitter).
WCBD, Charleston’s NBC affiliate, is launching a huge push into social media today by getting a majority of its news staff on Twitter. This is huge — I can’t say I’ve seen too many news agencies place a majority of their staff out into the wild amongst the Twitter-using public. Everybody from the anchors to the photogs is on and listening. Just today I was having a converation with morning anchor Brad Franko during the A-Rod (A-Roid?) press conference. WCBD’s had a presence on Twitter for a while, starting with producer Raymond Owens. Raymond was the first of the television journalists — and among the first of the journalists in Charleston in general — to make news a conversation over Twitter. That struck me. I was particularly pleased when chief meteorologist Rob Fowler joined up later, and gradually more and more folks at the channel started to tweet. I still think one of the marvels of Twitter is how it brings the people together with the media; with media listening in on what people are talking about over Twitter, it helps them serve our interests that much more effectively.
So, with that in mind, I’ve put together a few things that WCBD — and other news organizations tempted to take the social media plunge — should give a shot. Continue reading