Over the past couple of years social media sites have proved to be the most influential source of news. Last Tuesday Susan G. Komen decided to pull funding from Planned Parenthood, cutting thousands of dollars in grants used for breast cancer screening and education for low-income women. For my online media writing class we were asked to act as an online journalist and cover the story using some of the Twitter application tools we have used in class.
Since I am new to Twitter I wanted to start using a Twitter tool that was easy to understand and then work my up to the more complex Twitter tools. I started using Twittersearch first; it was simple and user friendly. All you need to do is sign into your twitter account and the Twittersearch is located in the upper right corner on your homepage. You can find any user you want to search for; I used @susangkomen and @PPact. You can also use hashtags or search tools to find other user’s tweets and opinions about the topic. The one downside to using Twittersearch is it only shows tweets that are a week old.
The second tool I used was Tweetdeck. It was a little more complex then the Twitter search but wasn’t too overwhelming. I liked it because it gave me more variety and I was able to compare and contrast the different tweets related to Susan G Komen and Planned Parenthood. I also liked how it didn’t have a cut off on the timeline unlike Twittersearch. To find older tweets you had to keep scrolling down, it was a little more time consuming but I found a much larger selection of tweets.
The third tool I would use as an online journalist would be Tweet Scan. It is just as easy to use as Twittersearch but likeTweetdeck has more variety. On the homepage they have the most popular searches and tweets, Planned Parenthood was on there but not Susan G. Komen when I used the tool. To use Tweet Scan you type in your user you want to search for I typed in @susangkomen and clicked on the #plannedparenthood on the homepage. It gives you numerous tweets to choose from that are related to the topic you searched.
Overall I learned there are many effective Twitter tools to use when researching or covering a news story. Journalism is starting a new approach to finding news. After using multiple channels to find news and other related content I feel like news aggregation will become more popular and the public will have more control over what we want to know as news.