I think we’re supposed to feel sorry for newspapers. They’re in a financial crisis, no-one’s buying them and the internet is going to wipe them off the face of the earth. Or something along those lines anyway.
With the rise of the internet as an important platform for news, publications have to learn and adapt to new technologies with varying degrees of success.
So it was great to see my local paper, the Lincolnshire Echo, join Twitter recently. It’s never a bad thing to have another outlet to promote your content and also to engage the audience but one thing they’ve done recently just doesn’t make much sense at all – live tweet coverage of music gigs at the Engine Shed.
For both the Gorillaz and Editors gigs, @lincsecho provided play by play updates of what was going on. They’re playing a song! It’s another song! They’re playing music!
Exciting stuff, maybe next they’ll tell me that the reporter is standing at the bar waiting but is annoyed as he’s not been served yet.
Although Twitter is used for a lot of nonsense, most of it written by me, it seems different when the account for a publication is writing stuff like this. I find it hard to think of an audience who will benefit from this information – hardcore fans of the band will either be at the gig, or much better served by a full review afterwards, where the writer has more than 140 characters to put across their thoughts.
I also wonder how much you can focus on what’s going on, truly getting the atmosphere of the event, if most the time you’re looking at your iPhone to write that the band has said hello and that people are cheering.
It’s great to see experimentation with new platforms, but in terms of live updates, a music gig probably isn’t the right one to start with.