Another Twitter testimonial: The networked brainstorming session

A simple task every reporter has to deal with: Brainstorming story ideas. In this case, I needed to seek out a little-known charity or organization to feature.

Instead of sitting around and hoping a good idea popped into my head, or maybe e-mailing a source or two and crossing my fingers, I put my question out there on Twitter and Facebook.

I simply wrote: “Looking for a charity or organization in the HBG area that doesn’t often get press but could use some. Any ideas?”

The response was pretty incredible.

On Twitter, I got 13 recommendations from 12 different people.

On Facebook, I found eight more from seven people, plus a link to a directory that I didn’t know existed.

So lest you think all this Twitter nonsense is a waste of time if you’re a reporter, I just got 21 recommendations out of 19 people, most of them coming in less than an hour.

Any reporter, no matter how many times you’ve uttered the phrase “I just don’t get that stuff,” would have to love those numbers.

All it took was me typing two sentences, and the networked community took over. The implications of that for all forms of reporting are wildly exciting.

  • I just don’t get reporters who just don’t get Twitter.

    How is Twitter really different than traditional reporting? You’re still asking people questions. You’re still trying to gauge public opinion — it’s just easier, now, to actually gauge it.

  • Wow. That is quite incredible.

    It’s a shame when the generations ahead of ours deny the great potential that technology can possess. I run into the this all of the time in teaching. It’s not that the older methods don’t work, but when you can get information passed along quicker and more efficiently, why wouldn’t you? It’s a day to day battle amongst those of us in the district where I work!

  • Also useful for educators in a similar “block…”

    How do I teach (insert concept) to kids who aren’t grasping my usual methods?

    Anyone know of a resource for (concept/technology)?

    Instead of blowing a whole afternoon or evening, a response for help can come in 12 – 15 minutes.


    The urge to help everyone else can sometimes negate the time saved.

    Is there a job out there for Twitter and Net addicts who just want to constantly find resources for people?