HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington is shopping for a dress for her daughter this afternoon in Manhattan. Her daughter will soon graduate from high school. Still, Huffington takes time out to tweet — she has done so several times today — and took a few minutes to respond to questions about the debut of HuffPost’s Twitter Edition, which began today.
1. It seems HuffPost’s Twitter Edition is mounting a takeover of the entire Twitter universe, kind of like a Daily Organizer for Twitter. Is that the goal? No, not at all. It’s more like supercharge. The idea is to basically supercharge the Twitter experience. ItÂ’s really an extension of what we already do. The key is to have gatekeepers you can trust. Our editors are curators. The editors have hand selected the Twitter accounts, so you can get both breaking news and general news and analyst and opinion as it comes in.
2. How often do you tweet? I tweet quite a bit. I think today I’ve tweeted about our four five times. It varies.
3. Do you ever fear that tweeting cheapens journalism? No, not at all. I think that it’s another journalistic tool. During the Iran uprising, it was among the most effective ways to get news out of Iran. We had Nico Pitney, our national editor curate the Twitter feed 24/7 coming out of Iran. In less dramatic ways it continues to be a way to break news — both big news and not so important news.
4. What do you hope the new Twitter features on HuffPost will accomplish? If you’re already tweeting, then you’ll be able to use the Twitter editions as great tools. You can tweet, retweet and reply to others directly from Huffington Post. If you’re not yet a Twitter user, this page is a great introduction to what Twitter has to offer.
5. Twitter can be instant and instantly mean. Everyone’s a critic and words can harm. Have you experienced this and how do you cope with it? Do you ever have to block anyone from following you? Anyone who wants to follow me can follow me. Words have power and can be used for harm, but that’s the same everywhere, whether it’s TV, print, internet, whatever. The people I follow [are not mean]. That’s one of the advantages of curation. If anyone was using it to attack they would not appear on our Twitter edition.