On Twitter: RSS-fed v. Manually Updated Posts

Lots of news organizations have created Twitter pages, and some have created multiple pages for  for news about business, traffic, entertainment, etc. I just noticed that similar to The New York Times, The (Portland) Oregonian has quite a few Twitter pages:

Oregonian news: http://twitter.com/oregonian
Oregonian traffic: http://twitter.com/OregonianTraff
Oregonian sports: http://twitter.com/OregonianSports
Oregonian biz: http://twitter.com/OregonianBiz
Oregonian entertainment: http://twitter.com/OregonianEnt

The Oregonian just created a new political page, Oregonian2008, which features manually updated posts. The latest post says: “We’re going to try Twittering live from the scene during Obama campaign appearance at Memorial Coliseum Friday. Reply with suggestions, etc!” I’ll be interested in seeing how The Oregonian uses its Twitter political page throughout the 2008 presidential campaign.

As a user, I like when news organizations manually update their Twitter posts as opposed to having them automatically updated through an RSS feed. The information feels more personalized when it’s updated manually, and it seems less overwhelming. At times, I’ll get up to 10 posts all at once from news organizations that update their Twitter page through RSS feeds. On the flip side, though, RSS-fed updates may be better if you’re looking to use Twitter as a one-stop news aggregator and want to receive as much news as possible on the site. Rather than making separate visits to npr.org, nytimes.com, espn.com, and oregonian.com, etc., you can get all your news in one place — on Twitter.

If you’re a Twitterer, which do you prefer — RSS-fed updates or manual updates? If you’re wondering what the heck Twitter is, you can read more here.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

3 thoughts on “On Twitter: RSS-fed v. Manually Updated Posts

  1. I agree that I like the idea of personalization by a human, but since they are so short, maybe they happen too fast and too often for human updates– or how about an automated stream that someone reviews and pulls out the best.

  2. I had always done manual updates until a few weeks ago when I added Twitterfeed, first for my blog and then for my Google Reader shared posts.

    I think automatic updates are well-suited for news updates, blogs, readers and comments, but there should always be a person behind it to maintain the conversation.

    Pat Thornton hit on this in a recent post. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

    “The secret to getting Twitter to drive traffic is to be interesting. Most news organizations have missed this point. Most news organizations use Twitter accounts to just list their most recent headlines.

    Boring. Twitter is not a repurposing tool. It’s a conversation.”

    Well said.

  3. Thanks for these good comments. I hadn’t seen Pat Thorton’s recent post that you linked to, Greg. It’s pretty interesting.

    Barbara, I like your idea of an automated stream that someone reviews. I wonder if users would know the difference?

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