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Robert Quigley, social media editor, Austin American-Statesman
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Mark, Interesting post, but you're underestimating the power of Twitter's Suggested User List. The Austin American-Statesman's main account was tracking along almost exactly in follower numbers with @ColonelTribune until the Colonel was put on the list. @BreakingNews had about 25,000 followers (still impressive) before it was put on the list. It vaulted through the roof in a matter of weeks once listed. When a new user signs up for Twitter, the default is to follow the accounts on Twitter's list. There's just no way to build the types of numbers that are on this list without Twitter giving organizations that lift. That being said, I think your point about properly caring for a Twitter account is spot-on. At the Austin American-Statesman, we have been using Twitter to interact and collaborate with our community for more than a year. Without the benefit of Twitter's list, we have 60+ newsroom accounts, with a total of more than 80,000 combined followers. If anything, I think some of those accounts at the top of your list aren't doing things the right way. There's little-to-no interaction with readers. No "social" use of social media. Twitter shouldn't be a one-way street, in my opinion.
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2009 on Twitter and Breaking News at Recovering Journalist