Funny how these things happen. The day after I write about how important social platforms can be to content owners, Robin Goad from Hitwise goes and posts some great stats on how effective twitter is in driving traffic to media content sites. I won't repeat them (you can read the full post here) but the key one is that 56% of twitter's downstream traffic (ie. referrals to other websites) is to content-driven media sites compared to only 9.5% to transactional websites.
This is no surprise, right? As Gordon says, it wouldn't be twitter if it was any other way: "Who wants to turn twitter into QVC?". But in his post Robin goes on to make an interesting point about content owners on twitter:
"Although all of the newspapers have multiple 'official' feeds, these tend to be bland and have very low retweet rates. Journalists tweeting themselves and engaging with the Twitter community typically have more success in creating viral stories."
Twitter is a conversational medium so surely this is no surprise either, right? People want to connect with people. Of-course they do. I think there is room for media brands (it's not just newspapers remember) to feed links to content that I'm sufficiently interested or engaged with (in the same way that I don't mind people tweeting their blog posts). But whilst the temptation will always be to automate for efficiency there should always be room for some humanity and personality about it. The one thing that Twitter is not is a broadcast medium.