My old friend/bandmate/colleague/student Matt Swaine, now editing the very fine Trail magazine and its companion website Live For The Outdoors, has inspired an experiment is seeing how magazines use Twitter.
After starting to follow Trail, I decided to see who else was out there. To avoid my personal Twitter account from getting clogged up with who-knows-what I signed up for a new account and I am proud to announce Magtweet as the Web2.0 companion to magblog.
The idea is not to participate but to have a constant stream of tweets from magazines purely to observe how they are using the service, what kinds of messages come up and what sorts of stratagems can be hypothesised.
I intend to follow as many magazines as I can find and I have already signed up for 45 - just the tip of the iceberg, as even a very simple search threw up 800-odd.
However, I can tell you a few things already:
1) All kinds of magazines use Twitter – large commercial consumer titles, tiny hobby titles, business mags, regional mags.
2) Small magazines may have a high number of followers and their tweets may be highly personalised within the community (or it may just be a small number of activer tweeters talking to one another).
3) Canadian titles are very well represented in the upper reaches of the search list.
4) I have not yet found a title with more than 1,800 followers (though I have not been looking for very long).
5) It seems to be etiquette for a magazine to follow you back and also to send you a direct message that usually links to their website.
That's it for now. If you want to see what's going on, look for Magtweet on Twitter.