Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
“Media is broken,” so Medium’s launching a $5/month member program that offers small upgrades
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 9, 2014, 2:09 p.m.
LINK: gigaom.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   January 9, 2014

Good piece from Mathew Ingram on how easy it is to be overwhelmed by the stream of Twitter:

It’s not that unfollowing people on Twitter is difficult — it’s just a click of a button. But first I would have to decide why I was unfollowing that person, and that would require thinking about why I followed them in the first place. I would have to look at their stream and reconsider their value, and I would have to do that 3,000 times. It’s like cleaning out the garage or indexing your photos; you know that you should do it, but it just seems so daunting that you never get around to it.

That helps explain my interest in tools that help you track who has unfollowed you, and others that show people you follow who aren’t very active…

For Twitter, one problem is that the company seems focused on adding millions of news users — and oceans of new content through deals with TV networks, etc. — rather than on making things easier for existing users, in part because building up its user base helps justify its multibillion-dollar market value. But if users ultimately just find themselves overwhelmed, that could be a Faustian bargain. The stream can be a harsh mistress.

I think this is right, and a reminder that one of the best services a news organization can provide to its audience is letting it know what it can safely ignore.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 35,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
“Media is broken,” so Medium’s launching a $5/month member program that offers small upgrades
“Let’s stop relying on ad buyers and social media echo chambers to determine what we put in our brains —  which is just as important, or more so, than what we put in our bodies,” Ev Williams says.
From coal to broadband to Trump’s budget, The Daily Yonder reports on rural life for the people actually living it
“Rural is like good art — you know it when you see it.”
Want a calmer place to discover and discuss The Washington Post’s reporting? Try this Facebook group
“There’s a reason the group’s called PostThis — we want people to take stories we share there and actually post them to their own networks.”