Mike Isaac

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Tweeter’s Digest: Twitter Rolls Out Weekly Recap Emails

It’s hard out there for a Twitter user. With the massive influx of tweets coming at users throughout the day, unless you’re using an application like Tweetdeck, it’s difficult to stay on top of what’s happening in your stream.

Which is why Twitter is launching a weekly email tweet digest to users, essentially a summary of the most relevant Twitter messages of the past week from those you follow (and a few you don’t follow, but probably should). Users will be able to see related tweets in context, and be able to tweet directly from the mail.

I’m also hearing that the weekly digest is the first fruit of Twitter’s recent Summify acquisition. Summify’s pre-acquisition product was essentially an email service that sent users daily dispatches containing the most important news stories of the day. It’s a natural extension of the product that the team initially created.

It’s a lot like Twitter’s redesigned “Discover” tab, which the company recently overhauled to combat user confusion caused by information overload. There have been rumors that Twitter could go after Flipboard as another possible solution to its discovery problem, though Twitter seems to be taking other steps to avoid burning through hundreds of millions in its war chest.

But as The Wall Street Journal’s Director of Social Media Engagement Liz Heron points out — in a tweet, mind you — in a world where news moves and changes within the span of a few tweets, is a week too long to wait for your digest?

Perhaps so. But on the other hand, Twitter is focused strongly on acquiring new users and teaching Twitter newcomers just how to use its service most effectively. Those new to Twitter face a mishmash of hashtags, @ symbols and other jargon unfamiliar to those outside the digiterati and the well-initiated.

To boot, it’s probably best to start with a weekly digest and not a daily one. You don’t want to bury your newcomers under a barrage of email, especially when they’re still getting used to real-time news updates delivered via tweet. Perhaps a smart move would be to allow users the option to choose the frequency of receiving emails. Daily, weekly, bi-weekly, what have you.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work