As alert readers may have noticed, I began using Twitter recently (@walterolson) and have been experimenting over the past week with what it can do. I’ve now added Alex King’s Twitter Tools plugin for WordPress, which makes it possible to integrate blog functions with those of Twitter. I’m giving a tryout to two new functions:
* Now featured atop the rightmost column of this site is a list of my five most recent Twitter posts. Some are ultra-brief summaries of Overlawyered or Point of Law posts, while others point to law-related articles or news stories in lieu of writing them up at full post length, and yet others contain non-law-related or even personal content. If you want to keep abreast with these in something close to real time without coming back to visit the site itself, “follow” @walterolson (on your Twitter account) or use the @walterolson RSS feed (distinct from the regular Overlawyered posts and comments feeds).
* Once a day Twitter Tools will generate an Overlawyered post like this one summing up the last day’s Twitter mini-posts (“tweets”). In their native form, these roundups have a rather raw look, replete with artificially truncated URLs (of the tinyurl and is.gd variety), often not identifying the article source, etc. If time and inclination permits, I’ll try to clean these up and make them more Overlawyered-relevant by reinserting “real” URLs, via links, earlier/further reading, etc., maybe cutting pure personal stuff, etc.
* Here’s a list of lawyers and law types on Twitter. I’m listed at #230.
* This is all, obviously, experimental, and aimed at seeing whether the new formats appeal to existing readers and reach new ones. If it does work well, I might take further steps, such as systematically broadcasting Overlawyered content on Twitter (a reader volunteer might come in really useful on that). One step at a time, though.
* More: If you’re a reader whose Twitter posts might furnish good story tip material for this site, and I realize that, there’s a good chance I’ll try following you; I’ve already done three posts using material I found in Twitter streams. (This is by contrast with Facebook, where I follow a more conservative policy, and mostly accept as friends only those I “really” know or at least have emailed with a fair bit).