Which tweeted quote would you add to the story?

Journalists can use Twitter to as a live reporting tool, but what if you are writing a story from afar and are looking for quotes as provided by “citizen” journalists at an event?

Simply adding a widget that pulls in tweets about the event will likely just add confusion and repetition. For example, author Chris Brogan spoke at Blog World Expo yesterday. Take a look at the Twitter search results for “@chrisbrogan #bwe09”.

Twitter search for @chrisbrogan and farmvilleWhat about focusing on just one part of the event? You’ll still get similar results. Let’s focus on something that Brogan (reportedly) said about the Farmville Facebook game.

Click on the image at the right to see the many retweets and Twitter reaction to Brogan’s Farmville comment. Adding that into a blog post or article would do little to clarify or advance a story.

What if a system could automatically eliminate retweets and just list the few messages from the people who originally quoted Brogan? Here is a my handmade version of that list:

  1. Steve Radick
    sradick @chrisbrogan has one bit of advice for you – “get out of Farmville, you dumbass” #bwe09
  2. Daynah
    daynah lol, @chrisbrogan just told us to uninstall Farmville. :) #bwe09
  3. Jay Berkowitz
    JayBerkowitz @ChrisBrogan Uninstall Farmville you stupid monkeys #BWE09 #fightcancer
  4. Suzanne Peters
    suzannepeters @chrisbrogan: “uninstall farmville you dumb monkeys” lol #bwe09
  5. Mark Krynsky
    krynsky “Uninstall Farmville you dumb monkeys” @chrisbrogan at #bwe09

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There a some serious discrepancies that need to be addressed:

  • Did Brogan tell people to stop playing Farmville, or to actually uninstall the Facebook app?
  • Did Brogan call people dumbasses, stupid monkeys or dumb monkeys?

So how would you address those questions?

  • Would you go through Craig Kanalley’s tweet verification process and share only what you determine to be the most accurate comment?
  • Would you share the list of five original tweets and let readers decide which quote to believe?
  • Would you link to the Twitter search results and give readers the chance to see all of the white noise, public reaction and spam for themselves?
  • Would you omit Brogan’s comment from the story altogether?

Please leave your comments below. I’m trying to figure out how a storystreaming platform could help support that part of today’s reporting process.

2 thoughts on “Which tweeted quote would you add to the story?

  1. I'd call Chris directly, ask him to confirm the quote and, IF it's relevant to the story itself, include it. But I'd give him a ring.

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