Lessons From My (Attempted) Week Without Twitter.


I took the week off from Twitter last week. Not with any real purpose in mind, really. I just didn’t want to tweet, and I thought that maybe, it’d open up some free time for me to read the paper or be productive.

But it didn’t.

I kept checking Twitter — habitually. I keep reading stories on the Internet — habitually. And when I sat down for breakfast, I did so with my laptop in tow.

And habit isn’t really the right word here. It’s ritual now. I have a routine for checking news, and something like last week’s spontaneous break isn’t going to change that.

For proof, see this. And this. And this.

Which is where I started thinking about how we can apply this information to newsrooms.

What news organizations need to do is create stories that demand attention. So much of our media is just noise in the background: TVs on mute, tweets ignored.

It’s why, in the launch of Stry, we put this line in our mission statement: “We’re a news organization that’s not easily distracted.” We’re focused on building a team of reporters who’ll focus on the important issues, not the headlines, and we hope it shows in our stories.

And the lesson for publishers: invest in well-reported, original content. Your readers/viewers/listeners can tell the difference.