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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Bring on the Tweets

Scott Jagow Feb 23, 2009

Okay, I’m convinced. I’ve signed up for Twitter. You can access my profile and start following me at http://twitter.com/scottjagow . I’m beginning to see the potential of this thing, and the possibility that it will profoundly change journalism and business. There’s an eye-opening article in today’s Washington Post about how TV news anchors are using Twitter while they’re on the air — soliciting questions to ask guests, for example.

I can see how it’d be helpful to hear right then and there what people want to know. Maybe it’s a question you hadn’t thought about. It beats getting an email an hour after the show saying, why didn’t you ask him that??! And the person being right.

CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez: When I first started doing this, I thought, ‘This is crazy. What the hell does this have to do with news?’ I thought Twitter was a fad my teenage sons are going through.

Apparently not. But Twitter is bound to spark debate about its uses. For example, this afternoon in Wichita, Kansas, a judge will hear arguments from a newspaper reporter who wants to Twitter information out of the courtroom as the trial is happening. It’s a federal trial involving the Crips street gang. Cameras are still not allowed in federal courtrooms. Will Twitter?

Journalists will also have to be careful about how much they share with people, and not just in a professional way. Already, some of these TV anchors are giving personal tweets about what they’re doing away from work. I have little doubt somebody’s going to have a Don Imus or Marv Albert moment on Twitter.

Beyond journalism, I can see enormous business potential. All over the web, people are asking: what can Twitter do for me? Here are two articles just from this morning. One of them’s from Advertising Age. It asks “Will Twitter Disrupt Your Business … or Enhance It?”

Another article looks at the market research and promotion potential of Twitter.

It should be fun discovering what this new technology can do. Let’s give it a try.

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