Late last night, Twitter launched election.twitter.com, a page that puts all of the service’s politics tweets on one scrolling feed. (Cofounder Biz Stone’s official announcement.) By showing every tweet about “Obama” or “McCain” in real-time, the site provides a sort of snapshot of what the Twitter hivemind thinks of the candidates and which links are being passed around.
Great idea — we think the (non-tech) media is going to jump all over it. Just like with “blogs” around 2004 or the “information superhighway” circa 1995, old media knows this newfangled Twitter thing is important but has no idea what to do with it.
Early experiments have fallen flat: Witness CNN’s Rick Sanchez aiming the camera at a computer screen with his Twitter on it (huh?), or the Rocky Mountain News’ horrifically bad idea of sending a reporter to tweet the funeral of a 3-year-old boy. With their new site, Twitter just hand-delivered a way for witless political reporters to fill airtime while getting great press for their service — which will probably increase awareness — and potentially membership — among “normal” people.
But beyond the great PR for Twitter, is the site actually any good? Here at SAI the jury is split. Some of us think it’s an interesting way to find breaking news, others think the blur of updates and low signal-to-noise ratio makes the feed worthless. (We figured out you can pause the feed by scrolling your mouse over the tweets, a helpful trick that should have been documented.)
Things Better Left Off Twitter: The Funeral Of A 3-Year-Old Boy
Twitter Buys Summize For About $15M: Gets Search – And Maybe A Business Model
Twitter CEO Dorsey: We’ll Figure Out A Business Model Later
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.