I am going to start using Twitter, as opposed to a news aggregator, as my source of news and information.
For years – as in nineteen of them – I have used a RSS/News aggregator to follow feeds of news from various sources.
Could be blogs, mainstream news publications or trade publications. My aggregator enabled me to catch all the news from sources I selected and organize these feeds into folders.
I could skim my news in minutes and open up, for reading, the artcles for which the title looked interesting.
NetNewsWire, Google Reader and Feedly have been my readers of choice. The first two sunsetted and the third I use today.
Not only was my aggregator critical for staying abreast of industry news, my aggregator drove engagement so as to build relations and a name.
Blogging is a conversation. My aggregator has been my ears.
By listening to what’s of interest – subject or author-wise – I blogged what I read and offered my take. The author and other readers heard me. Led to relationships and a name.
When social media came along – Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, I shared what I read in my aggregator on social media and, again relationships and a reputation ensued.
My aggregator led to my following on Twitter. I shared liberally what I read, via my aggregator, and more and more people followed me. Again, relationships and reputation.
Content is the currency of engagement, not the end goal and my aggregator gets this currency moving.
This morning, I checked the feeds on my aggregator, followed by my Twitter lists. I have Twitter lists by subject and sources, ie, legal tech, law school deans, law libraries.
I found the quality of informaton, insight and commentary on Twitter to be higher than on my aggregator.
Add to this my sources on Twitter were ones I chose to be sources Twitter. I trusted the source and liked the items they tweeted.
I could retweet something of interest to me and my followers along with a comment in a minute – maybe two if there was an article linked to the tweet which I read.
On my aggregator, the news seemed all over the board – even though I picked the sources.
When I monitored news by subject in my aggregator – words/phrases, just like Google News, the news was more random and often just content marketing which felt like spam.
I noticed that I enjoyed sharing on Twitter and other social media what I found via Twitter more than that which I found on my aggregator.
Maybe it was because my source was someone I trusted. Maybe it was because my sources were more relatable in what they wrote and tweeted.
Twitter also enabled me to quickly meet people.
Retweeting with a comment, tweeting someone a kudos or engaging via Twitter someone who liked or retweeted something I shared is easy. It’s led to plenty of conversations – online and offline, connections on LinkedIn, and more.
Twitter is uplifting. There’s real folks, with personality, there for me over my morning coffee. Feels good. I haven’t been getting that on my aggregator.
Maybe I should have listened to my friend Jake Ludington who, about ten years, told me he used Twitter as his news aggregator.
I am going to give it a try.