Many of you have been posting about news reports and articles, reflecting on their design, structure, etc. However, one of the things we’ve been talking about in class is the importance of conciseness of the information that’s being communicated. The post on The Future of Television hinted at the fact that getting news from TV has become rather inconvenient and pretty time consuming. Most people I’ve come to interact with, both at school and at work, have at some point voiced their preference to keeping themselves informed on the news through sources other than TV and newspapers (seriously, why do we STILL print newspapers?!?!).
However, while it’s nice to sit back and read a lengthy article about 5 Healthiest Foods or 21 Ways to Braid Your Hair, most of the times, I find myself simply not having the time to read the darn thing. Let’s face it, reading news articles is just as time-consuming as watching TV. Let alone constantly having to resist the impulse to click the “Related Topic” link.
And then there’s Twitter. Oh Twitter, how I love thee! It has revolutionized the way I personally get news. With Twitter, instead of having to read the whole article, I can just read its summary that’s been skillfully shoved into the up-to-140-character post. Here’s a list of some of the benefits one can get from following their favorite news sources on Twitter:
- First of all, EVERYONE’s on Twitter. Whoever your interest may be: news reporters, independent journalists, national TV anchors, sports reporters, stock market wizards, government entities, foreign government entities, technology enthusiasts, religious spokespeople, members of the royal family, DIY experts, blogging supermoms, cat lovers…. everyone.
- Second, it takes some real skill to make your voice heard in <= 140 chars, but it’s possible. And the more someone is trying to make their voices heard (like Fox News, for example), the more creative they get in communicating their message loud and clear, despite the limitation.
- Still, you’re not missing out on much detail, as every one of the respectable tweet-ers posts a link to accompany their summation of an article.
- Hashtagging is another great invention. With its help, if you want to read on a topic from several different perspectives, just click the hashtag, and you may find two completely opposing reports (which is always fun).
- Finally, on average, it takes 6.6 seconds to read a single tweet.
So there. If you do it right (and by that I mean if you follow only the people/entities you’re genuinely interested in, and not your entire high school graduating class), you’re reducing the daily time spent reading by ~500% (assuming it takes roughly 5 min to read a full-length article). Therefore, your 5 minutes can now be used to read even more tweets, single out the ones that talk about something really important to you, and read the linked full length articles related to the topic. This is a quick and efficient way to catch up on all the relevant news for the day.