Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting My Ottawa News on Twitter

I've been getting a lot of my news recently on Twitter. It's served me pretty well so far. When people are talking about current news and issues I'm not almost always "in-the-know" about what's going on because I've already scanned over a linked article or two from my Twitter feed.

But getting Ottawa news on Twitter is a bit tougher. Most papers have twitter feeds now, but some of them aren't so great. And I'm finding newspapers less and less up-to-date compared to certain key blogs on the net. (Hint to newspapers around the world: you may want to look into this whole "web 2.0" thing or this "Kindle" thing you keep hearing about. Oh, and you'll probably want to change your entire business model based on what you find.)

Sorry, enough parenthetical digressions. (But not really.)

Anyways, the first Ottawa paper I found on Twitter was the Ottawa Metro Daily, which is distributed freely. I think it's also the largest "free daily newspaper" or something. It has different papers for different cities. The Metro is pretty web savvy, it seems. They even have a "MetroTube of the Day," which is their favourite or most relevant YouTube video.

But there are other Ottawa newspapers on Twitter:
Interestingly, the Ottawa Sun has gone a step further and has a twitter feed specifically for the trial of Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien at http://twitter.com/mayortrial. It's by journalist Shane Ross. You can also follow Glen McGregor from the Ottawa Citizen at http://twitter.com/obrientrial

I guess the key to getting relevant news is to follow the right people. A lot of individual journalists are using twitter, and instead of following the Ottawa Sun, you might follow only three of your favourite writers. The only drawback to this is that a lot of your favourite writers/journalists won't have their own Twitter feed.

I've been tweaking my list of people/businesses I follow a lot. I add a couple, then I get rid of the ones who aren't tweeting worthwhile content (which is a lot of them). Often, you might get someone who has good stuff occasionally, but they also post garbage every two minutes, and it basically spams your entire feed.

You'll also find, I think, that the more "hot" a topic is, the harder it is to miss something. The newspapers will post everything, but you can tell something is important when everyone else you follow is re-tweeting it.


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