By Steve Outing
As J.D. Lasica explains, the concept is to have reporters begin using the immediacy and interactivity of Twitter: “A beat reporter could enlist a dozen or two dozen passionate, driven readers to serve as a kind of Twitter posse. Whenever she was about to tackle a big story or difficult interview, the reporter could begin a mobile dialogue with her posse members, who could pose questions, much like the ‘backchannel’ IRC feed at conferences such as AlwaysOn or Supernova.”
This is a faster version of “beat blogging,” the idea of journalists using social networking tools to assemble a group of experts in a topic to assist and advise them and improve the depth of their reporting.
I can’t help but love how journalists are embracing these new online tools as they appear. For lots of people, their first reaction to Twitter was, “That’s frivolous.” (I’ll admit it; I thought that initially, too.) But fairly quickly folks started thinking outside the box.