@cnnbrk ain’t CNN, but with >30K followers, he owns the brand

TechCrunch posted about CNN’s twitterings the other day: Apparently, the feed’s followers were upset about a tweet that spoiled their Olympic viewing experience by revealing golden boy Michael Phelps’ latest feat shortly after he kicked the aquatic asses of the world’s other really freakin’ fantastic swimmers.

But it wasn’t CNN that tweeted. It was cnnbrk, a bot written by news junkie James Cox that simply rebroadcasts CNN’s breaking news email alerts.

cnnbrk on Twitter

Twitter is the perfect medium for a news organization like CNN — they’re the first place you turn to see what’s going on, right now. cnnbrk has gathered 31,502 followers delivering that immediacy on the the most ADD site online, Twitter. CNN’s official feeds lag far behind: their cnn, CNN_Newsroom, cnni, politicalticker, and cnnireport have just over 8,400 followers, combined. (I’m pretty sure these are all maintained by folks at CNN — it’s kind of hard to tell.)

This *isn’t* CNN

The Guardian wrote about the brand confusion a couple of weeks ago, check out what Cox had to say:

“I do indeed wield the power of their brand: if I posted right now that Bush is due to be impeached, or that Diet Coke really still contained cocaine – I think the repercussions would be unpleasant. So I’ve been walking a fine line, ensuring that I keep somewhat under the radar, whilst also wishing that it would become even more popular.”

Cox isn’t pretending to be CNN, but the Olympic boondoggle did result in angry tweets directed toward CNN, and TechCrunch reported that CNN was the spoiler source — since then some twitterers have figured out that cnnbrk is not CNN, and TC has corrected the story.

I doubt that Cox will be able to keep this up if CNN decides to drop the hammer — I’m no expert but it seems like his use of the CNN name miiight be against the rules. (cnn follows cnnbrk, so Cox isn’t flying very far below the radar.)

Outbound links? EveryBlock? What the hell just happened at the Trib?

I just had an interesting chat with Daniel X. O’Neil, EveryBlock‘s People Person, and he confirmed my suspicions…

Two (maybe three) *totally amazing* things happened on chicagotribune.com today.

  1. They silently released a new “(beta test)” feature, an EveryBlock-enabled police blotterGaper’s Block got the scoop, from, get this, a tweet by the Tribune’s twitter persona, according to Daniel.
  2. More shockingly, the aforementioned blotter links *out* to EveryBlock, which links *out* to other news organizations. Click on one of the “more news in this neighborhood” links to see for yourself. I’m not positive, but I think this is a Tribune Company first!
  3. (maybe) They added a digg widget to their homepage? This may have happened earlier, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it.

New media literacy: a quiz

Ryan Thornburg has posted a quiz for his readers — an excerpt:

Could you explain how Twitter.com spread like wildfire the rumor of the death of Subway spokesman Jared Fogel? (And why it will be important for every political journalist to monitor the site on Nov. 3?)

Could you use Wikipedia’s revision history to see who edited the Jared Fogel entry with the false rumor of his death? Could you explain why the page is (probably) accurate right now?

SEO and whois are also on the quiz – do you know how these tools work, or even what they are?  His point is that the bad people do know.  They’re creating misinformation — the modern journalist needs to know how to filter it out.

I would add:

UPDATE – Spelled Ryan’s name wrong! Eek!!  So sorry.  Medill F.

Content crises, the oppression biz, tips from EveryBlock and Twittering — 6w link rodeo

The Cure for Content-Delay Syndrome — A List Apart

We have lots of “brand identity guidelines,” but not so many “style guides” (for content, at least). We have “strategists,” but no “commissioning editors,” and we more often “go live” than “publish.” Hence, we tend to first think “copywriter” when trying to get our content sorted, whereas very often an editor is the person we should be engaging.

Cisco Leak: ‘Great Firewall’ of China Was a Chance to Sell More Routers — Threat Level

The document is the first evidence that the networking giant has marketed its routers to China specifically as a tool of repression. It reinforces the double-edged role that Americans’ technological ingenuity plays in the rest of the world.

Recent EveryBlock-themed conference keynote — The EveryBlock Blog

My talk… focused on EveryBlock and some lessons we’ve learned while developing it.

And there’s a great conversation going on at Meranda Watling’s blog on Wired Journalists:
How is your news org using twitter?