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Saturday, April 4, 2009

About that Twitter

I got a few questions about my decision in the previous post to stop using Twitter as a news feeder for stories about police misconduct and why I changed my mind and started the feed back up.

Well, I decided to stop using it because my original intent for it was to show just how many reports there were of police misconduct each day in the US and give people interested in police misconduct a handy way to get information on those stories... but, not many people were really interested in it so I decided that little experiment was a failure... at least as far as the original intent was concerned.

But, after I looked over the data I collected by recording all those stories in Twitter, I found it would be useful to track this information from a statistical point of view, as pointed out in the previous post.

So I decided a better way to do that would be to record these reports in a database and codify them to make it easier to break down those statistics by type of misconduct and where misconduct might be most prevalent.

However... after a day worth of entering in the information from each story into a spreadsheet I found that I would never have enough time each day to do this because there were just too many reports to track each day and I have two jobs on top of what I do here, it just wasn't feasible.

But, Posting the stories and links to Twitter was very easy and I could always go back to those later and dissect them for the pertinent data I wanted to track when I had the time to do so.

So, I decided to start the feeds back up via Twitter... not with the expectation that anyone would actually follow them, but for my own statistical tracking.

If others want to read it or use the information I post, that's swell! But, that's not why I'm doing it anymore, it's just to gather stats on police misconduct, that's all.

Hope that answers any questions anyone might have had.


Carlos Miller said...

Doesn't Blogger have a method where you blog posts automatically post to your Twitter account?

I have that on my Wordpress blog and it's really worthy.

Also, once you have a Twitter account, people tend to follow you who might not necessarily check your blog on a regular basis.

Packratt said...

There is likely an easy way for me to send a tweet every time I post a new article, but that's not what I'm using Twitter for.

I'm using Twitter to record news articles about police misconduct so that I can track how many and what types of misconduct happen each day and where they happen in order to build some statistical models.

In fact, I'm not even sending out tweets when I make new posts anymore, it's all just links to news articles on police misconduct as they come across.

Think of it like CNN's Twitter feed except that it sends out news alerts each time a story about police misconduct makes it into the press somewhere in the US.

Thanks for the suggestion though, I appreciate it.

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