Last night Twitter unveiled their Olympics site.
When I saw it I was surprised at how useless it is. I had no idea what they were saying. There wasn’t anything about the Olympics that I could see. I think they made a mistake by rolling it out before there was any news. Or maybe they don’t plan to put news there? Hard to say.
But the site is not useful in any way that I can see. Maybe I’m old-fashioned guy. I don’t care much about snorts and grunts. I like stories and pictures and video. That kind of stuff.
Now, just so happens, I had a great A-B comparison ready to go.
It’s a very simple page.
1. It’s a river.
2. It’s subscribed to a few special Olympics feeds from NBC, BBC, Guardian, NYT, USA Today. I was looking for Olympics blogs, and if I find any, I’ll add them. I also am getting together my own Olympics feed to pick up stories from places that aren’t doing special coverage.
3. It updates every 10 minutes.
4. No ads. No flash. No tweets. Just links to stories with synopses and titles. A RT link if you happen to use a linkblogging tool.
5. It’s hosted on Amazon S3 so it can take a lot of traffic, theoretically.
That’s all there is. And I think that’s all you need.
It’s a partnership between a few great news organizations, and it didn’t require any agreements. They all get as much flow as they merit, and can put ads on their pages. They don’t have to point to it, but of course I wouldn’t mind if they did.
This is the escape hatch if it ever looks like Twitter is a media company that’s competing with the big publishing companies. Your RSS feeds are your secret security blanket.
Keep those updates coming. Love Dave