Jeb Lund, in a challenging article for the Guardian, argues that manual retweets are mere self-promotion borderlining on intellectual larceny, and that retweets/twitter reaction articles a la buzzfeed aren’t journalism at all.
I don’t entirely agree with his argument. I’d probably set the bar for usefulness on a commented manual RTs differently. I wouldn’t entirely negate the claim that retweets can be reporting in every case (Depends on your definition of reporting; not every legitimate reporter article is stellar, original, Pulitzer-worthy) Large parts are spot-on, the whole piece well worth your time.
Lund touches on an issue I’ve been thinking about for a while now: How do we give people doing great thinking/writing on social media the proper recognition? Even beyond the “twitter reacts”-buzzfeed-click-bait issue. In our societies, proper recognition means money. Micropayment platforms like flattr haven’t taken off at all, especially in the US (although NPR’s Planet Money did run a story about it recently.) Paywalls/subscriptions/kickstarters don’t make sense for all people and organizing everything this way would have detrimental effects on the social media environment, too. I am certain: How to properly monetize, recognize valuable content on twitter (and tumblr, blogs, ..) will be generating think pieces for a while.