The Twitter school of editing

Twitter may be full of self-indulgence and self-promotion, but don’t knock what it can do for you as a journalist.

Aside from Twitter’s almost magical ability to connect users with other, similar users (I know all social networking sites claim to do this, but I’ve never experienced anything that can connect me so easily with other journalists as Twitter can), and its way of keeping you up with the latest gossip (anyone heard who the author of the quitting letter is yet?), Twitter can absolutely make you a better editor.

Don’t believe me? Well I’ve got backup. Erin Everhart at Journalistics writes that the key thing is that Twitter forces you to be concise: “How many times have you written a tweet only to see a red -20 staring at you? How long did you then sit there, glaring at your computer/cell phone figuring out to make that puppy shorter? My guess is that it happens more than you care to admit, at least to me it does.”

Yeah, I’ll admit, it happens to me a lot, and I’m always proud of myself for getting the tweet down to 140 characters without losing information or cheating (I try to avoid abbreviations and deliberate spelling errors, because those wouldn’t fly in a headline, so why should I use them on Twitter?).

Check out the rest of Everhart’s post here, and let me know if you agree, or if the assertion that frequent tweeting can work the same magic as hours spent with the CP Style Book makes you want to verbally pummel someone in 140 characters or fewer.