Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Want to Watch the Media Hug Twitter in Real-Time? This Is the Site for You.

muck-rack-logoSo why is Twitter growing so fast, anyway? Bunch of reasons. But one of them is that the media–from lil’ ol’ bloggers like me to the most mainstream of mainstream media–keep promoting it, for free, via nonstop coverage.

Most obvious example: CNN’s decision to cede much of its airtime to a stunt involving Larry King and Ashton Kutcher, who are having some kind of follower contest, which you can read about somewhere else.

But no need to single out the Time Warner (TWX) unit–every big news outlet now features stories about Twitter, presented by anchors/reporters who use Twitter. Which makes sense, because while Twitter may not be for everyone, it definitely appeals to professional self-promoters. [UPDATE: Add Oprah Winfrey to the ranks.]

If you tried to put a price tag on that kind of coverage… well, it’d be very expensive. Just advertising a Web service on TV doesn’t ensure success–ask IAC’s (IACI) Ask.com (or Pets.com, for that matter). But it can certainly get people to sample the service. So that’s some of what’s going on here.

Meanwhile, if you want to see the press embrace Twitter in real-time, there’s now a service that will let you do just that. Meet Muck Rack, which does nothing but aggregate Tweets from media members (um, like me).

sawhorse-full-screen

The site comes to us from Sawhorse Media, a Brooklyn company that is trying to make a business out of Twitter-related sites and stunts–they’re the dudes who brought us the Shorty Awards earlier this year, as well as Musebin, a collection of Twitter-sized music reviews.

Sawhorse CEO Greg Galant tells me this one took a week to build, which is good, because the conceit is wafer-thin.

But it’s also a pretty good one–like the late, lamented “March Tweetness” promotion, there’s definitely something to sorting and curating the flood of Tweets. I also like the fact that Muck Rack offers a “links” view  that highlights the full headline of stories that media folks inevitably promote via their Tweets. Very helpful. You could definitely extract a few ad dollars out of this one, if you were so inclined.

Or you could just use it as an excuse to write about Twitter, again.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus