Whenever a piece of big news breaks — and Stephen Colbert replacing David Letterman on the Late Show in 2015 certainly qualifies as a piece of big news — you can bet any blog worth its salt will make a post in which tweets from random folks from around the world are embedded or screen-grabbed as a way to show how the “general populace” — because everyone has Twitter, right? — is reacting to said news. These “Twitter reacts to Event X” posts are excellent in terms of bringing in page views — one must assume as much, anyway, since so many sites use the “Twitter reacts to…” format as a way to create quick content — but how are such posts received by Twitter users? We investigate.
For example, here’s the SEO-friendly “Twitter reacts to Stephen Colbert replacing David Letterman” post from Digiday. Man, they really captured some great stranger-generated content there! However, it appears Twitter users are not exactly eager to share the reaction of other Twitter users:
Twitter reacts to Stephen Colbert replacing David Letterman http://t.co/yUt1DfEh61
— Digiday (@Digiday) April 10, 2014
Vibe fared a bit better, with a handful of people retweeting and favoriting the site’s “30 Twitter Reactions to Stephen Colbert Replacing David Letterman” post:
Twitter reacts to Stephen Colbert replacing David Letterman http://t.co/W921wumKij
— VibeMagazine (@VibeMagazine) April 10, 2014
The Wall Street Journal, despite putting their harvested content in the context of the debate over late night diversity, saw a similarly tepid response:
As Colbert Succeeds Letterman, Debate Rages on Twitter Over Late Night Diversity http://t.co/iQMFAjlKfE
— Speakeasy (@WSJspeakeasy) April 10, 2014
How about us here at FanSided? Keeping with the trend, it appears Twitter users aren’t interested in sharing our post about other Twitter users:
Stephen Colbert replaces Dave Letterman: Twitter reacts http://t.co/jdIg7aevZC
— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) April 10, 2014
The deep lesson in all this? Gazing into the hall of mirrors of “content” in this day and age, where the line between audience and creator has become permeable to the point of porous indistinguishability and any utterance made on social media can be repackaged as news, is a great way to kill an afternoon of work.
Now please go share this on Twitter.