Those of us with access to NWSChat have already learned that keeping up with a data stream during an event is next to impossible and you pick out data as you go. The Twitter stream seemed like a useful idea for viewers.
After I finished my elevator pitch the executive’s first question was, “What if someone posts something inappropriate?”
I want to take this apart a bit. It seemed obvious to me, but apparently not to him, that the idea was not to put every tweet on the screen. The tweeters would be approved and vetted by the station before inclusion in the stream.
The more important lesson is the recognition of who is in control. For many years the television station has decided what gets on TV. We are journalists and professionals and we know better, right? Maybe, maybe not…and it really does not matter. Today information flows like water, and the water level is rising…quickly.
Users will go where the information is, whether it is “approved” by you or not. If you are providing it to them they may come to you, if you are not, they certainly won’t.
As the water level of information rises, the available opportunity is helping the user find the good stuff, not deciding for them what is good.