Looks like I’m adding a couple hundred more words to the millions already written this year about Why The Media is Dying. This screencap from a New York Times article today about famous people hiring people to “ghost twitter” for them:
You’d think those links (or, as I’m sure they call them at the Times, hyperlinks), which appear throughout the story for just about ever well-known person they mention, would go to the corresponding Twitter accounts, right?
Of course they don’t. They go to pages the Times has built that contain links to all the other NYT stories about those people. (And, hilariously, both Obama links go to the same place.)
How can they possibly be this bad at the internet?
There is, as always, a lesson for researchers mixed in: there’s no point using new technology if you ignore the advantages it gives you. Don’t make people re-enter demographic information that’s already in your database; don’t make people select their state from a pull-down menu when you could just let them click on a map. Don’t make people hit a “submit” button when you could just auto-advance once they click their response. Recognize that Flash is pretty much universal by now and there’s really no reason not to take advantage of what it can do.
Don’t be a newspaper.