Twitter has a two-pronged approach to give media companies the ability to create dynamic interfaces that filter and curate tweets in new ways. One is to showcase great examples of Twitter implementations on its Twitter Media blog, and the other is to give media companies the resources to do these types of projects on their own.
I spoke this week with Twitter’s Robin Sloan, who works in media partnerships, to find out more. He said the blog launched a few weeks ago and is aimed at media companies that want to build Twitter integration into their sites.
“It’s designed to be a spotlight and showcase for really good work,” he said.
Sloan and Twitter’s Chloe Sladden split the task of writing blog posts. Their goal is to update it daily and post an in-depth case study each week.
The Blog as a How-To Guide
The blog aims to be a practical how-to guide for creating projects, such as NBC’s Twitter interface for the Winter Olympics, and Sloan hopes that as people follow the blog, their imagination for what they can do with Twitter will become bigger and broader.
“The idea of lists of tweets on a web page; we can go well beyond that,” he said.
Some news sites have already done that. The Twitter Media blog highlights the Huffington Post’s Twitter Edition, in which nearly every page and section has Twitter integration. The site uses a mixture of Twitter’s API, @anywhere, and Twitter lists. Sloan said you can’t tell where The Huffington Post stops and where Twitter begins.
The Huffington Post uses @anywhere Hover Cards on its Twitter lists and the “Hot on Twitter” section of the site is content that’s “selected and organized based on tweet volume,” according to the Twitter Media blog. Sloan said the depth that The Huffington Post has achieved is what they are aiming to get more people to do.
One of the main functions of the blog is to walk producers and developers through how to do one of these projects so they can learn from them.
“On our site, we explain the process,” Sloan said.
The Twitter Media site gets its blog content from partnerships that have launched, and by searching for great examples and from others’ tips. Sloan said they increasingly want to use Twitter itself as a way to get great usage tips on both big and small projects.
“My hope is we can get a lot of stuff that way,” he said.
Why Launch a Media Blog?
The activities of celebrities and reporters can be a strong connection point for new Twitter users to get on board and stay there. Twitter launched their media-focused blog because news organizations and TV personalities have been really aggressive in adopting innovative uses for Twitter, according to Sloan.
“We find media can be a good bridge for users of Twitter,” he said. “We’d like to be able to leverage that to get them to be Twitter users.”
Twitter can help improve journalism, he added, and they would like to assist media companies such as The New York Times in doing better journalism.
In order to better help news organizations, Twitter needs to understand what the media needs. Sloan said there are tools out there that aren’t built by Twitter to help people solve problems.
Sloan told me that in about a week, Twitter Media will launch a directory of tools, platforms and services to better help journalists find the third-party apps that will be useful to them.
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