Twits on Twitter

We all know those journos who will go on and on about the importance of Twitter in today’s reporting. A new report from the Pew Research Center suggests that the value of Twitter may be slightly overblown. TWTs Jennifer Harper writes that the annual “State of the Media Report” reports the following:

“Facebook and Twitter are now pathways to news, but their role may not be as large as some have suggested. The population that uses these networks for news at all is still relatively small, especially the part that does so very often.”

In other words, using Twitter and Facebook to report isn’t a brilliant idea, but rather useful tools to help promote your already brilliant ideas. Here’s some raw data.

  • Among those who access Twitter through their computer, 85 percent say that they “never” follow through to click and read stories that are shared.
  • Among those who access Facebook through their computers, 53 percent say they “never follow up” on shared stories.

With the constant drumbeat of editors emphasizing the importance of social media, it’s a refreshing change of pace to remind journos that there is a large swath of the country that doesn’t know what the hell a Twitter is. The study reminds us that good, honest writing and reporting should be the focus of your work, not trying to make it go “viral.”

We can’t paint a clearer picture of this than looking at NBC’s Brian Williams. He’s the number one newsman in the country. He has close to a million followers on Twitter….. And he hasn’t sent out a single tweet.

Now excuse me while I tweet this. I bet this gets decent pickup.