A week or so ago I got a ping that @inauguration was following my Twitter feed. I assume they just searched all Twitter feeds for "inauguration" and found me. As I always do, I checked the profile page and found:
"Get tips and helpful scoop as you plan for the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama takes the oath of office."
There was a link to a website but I didn't click it.
@inauguration has been a great source for news about the upcoming event. With links to lots of news sources.
I finally checked the url on the Twitter page and learned that the feed belongs to WUSA-TV in D.C. Thinking back, a lot of the tweets have taken me to pages on the WSUA website.
We're they being sneaky by not clearly identifying the TV station? Doesn't feel that way since I now know they pointed me to a variety of sources for relevant news about the inauguration.
My point here is WSUA didn't just feed the latest news from the station website. They didn't just promote their coverage. Someone was smart enough to understand how Twitter really works and use it. Cost: zero.
This will be the norm for any big event. And it won't always be news organizations doing it. It will often be the event organizers. And should be since they will have the most information and have it first.
Yes, I could have set up a Google Alert for "inauguration" but adding @inauguration to my feed was just one-click.
Seasoned Twitter users will remind me there's a hash tag (#inauguration) that aggregates tweets from ALL Twitter users, not just one source. True, but there's a lot of noise in that stream. Takes too long to separate the wheat from the chaff.
And to bring it down to the individual level, I could set up a Twitter page just for my tweets from the event, so that my "followers" aren't drowned in my tweets from DC. Probably won't be posting enough for that to be a problem, however.
In conclusion… I quickly determined that the @inauguration Twitter feed had useful and interesting information. I didn't notice or care who was behind the feed.