This past week The New York Times experimented by replacing its Twitter automatic feed with its social media editors Liz Heron and Lexi Mainland. The experiment started off by @LHeron and @LexiNYT asking, “What do you want to see from us?” a standard question that generated numerous promising responses. Heron states in the article “Why The New York Times replaced its Twitter ‘cyborg’ with people this week” by Poynter, “This week’s experiment is about changing the perception, and it’s about being a little more strategic about what we put out there — finding the most engaging content.”
While The Times is just starting on the human interaction journey, the Wall Street Journal has been interacting with its followers since January 2010. Zach Seward, the man behind @WSJ, explains how the activity increased instantaneously. So why is New York Times just starting to interact with its followers? Short answer, man power. The big issue that New York Times is trying to tackle is determining whether hiring full time employees as well as editors and even an entire staff dedicated to social media necessary. While hesitant in taking the human interaction lead, Zach Seward has proven the extra work in payroll is necessary.
The results are not in but the future of The New York Times rests in the follower’s hands.