Back in January, I wrote a post looking at how regional newspapers can use Twitter, and embrace the new ways of communicating rather than competing against them. How pleased was I then, to see that the Camden New Journal have got a Twitter feed, and used it to break a story, @newjournal.
The CNJ used the twitter feed to live tweet updates from this weekend’s Camden Crawl, London’s premiere ‘rush from a to b and miss the bands you want to see’ annual music street party. And, whilst there could’ve been the use of a hashtag to help keep the character limit down and keep the tweets in one place, it provided a great insight into how the newspaper can use emerging technologies to keep their interest followers abreast of the latest local news.
In London, this should become widespread – many Londonistas will be on the service and, if they’re not already, I’d suspect they soon will be. According to Twitter Grader, London is one of the top cities in the world for Twitter users, and that is set to grow, what with it being the centre of the media world and all, (Disclaimer, being in London this makes me prone to London bias, and i’m sure colleagues in San Fran or Chicago would disagree).
However, how can we expect the vast majority of local papers to do this, considering some don’t have a website yet, and others are scared of the impact on their advertising revenues?
It’s a brave, but ultimately very smart move in the long run – a local paper can build up their twitter presence, develop a relationship with their followers and when an advertising based model for companies pops it’s head round the corner, they can charge advertisers for direct contact with local people through the twitter feed.
“Need a Camden plumber? Tweet Joe Plums” for example. A simple classified ad in the form of a tweet. The only danger to this is that the feed becomes a spam fest with no news and only advertisements, but that would then see the newspaper’s followers fall and a drop in revenue – so why not limit the amount of advertising tweets…
Let me know your thoughts!