Reinventing the Newsroom

The Huffington Post Experiments With Twitter

Posted in Communities, Digital Experiments, Social Media, Twitter by reinventingthenewsroom on April 8, 2010

Here’s interesting news, via David Kaplan at paidContent: The Huffington Post now has “Twitter editions” for its sections, maintained by the section editors. Here’s technology, for example.

What’s a Twitter edition? It’s a little bit of everything: Some traffic bait (top stories and some stories that are currently hot on Twitter), real-time news, a pair of Twitter lists, and some tools — you can tweet directly from the page (the default tweet is to check out whatever HuffPo Twitter edition you’re on, which is clever and endearingly cheesy), follow Twitterers on lists, and so forth. For folks who follow a certain HuffPo subject it’s a potentially handy resource, and the Twitter-uninitiated will find it a pretty good introduction to the service, which can be a bewildering blank slate at first. And of course, those who follow HuffPo’s lead into the Twitterverse will likely make HuffPo tweeters key building blocks of whatever feeds they construct.

The Twitter editions fit pretty well with HuffPo’s Social News endeavor (here’s my rather unutilized slice of it), its attempt to bring Facebook into the Huffington Post instead of surrendering its own site to Facebook. But most of all it feels like an experiment, and this spaghetti-at-the-wall quality is what I like best of all.

There’s no Twitter edition home page, Arriana Huffington tells Kaplan, because they want to see how people use the editions first. And then there’s this, from CEO Greg Eric Hippeau: “We’re one part social network, one part news content site. So for us, the question has always been how to use Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools and our content and integrate it with our advertisers. There’s a number of different ways we can do this. But for right now, along with everyone else, we’re still in the experimental stage and we’re testing a variety of methods and ideas.”

Exactly. I wish I saw such experiments everywhere.


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