Is Twitter moving into breaking news?


Nowadays where are you most likely to hear breaking news? For me it’s twitter. Good news travels fast, but bad news travels even faster and today pretty much all my breaking news comes in through my twitter feed. When I think of major events of the last year or two from the Boston bombings to even tracking major natural disasters and freak weather like Hurricane Sandy, when I want to see what is going on in real time, I go to twitter. The newsrooms are already struggling to keep up and often shaky, amateur video footage ripped from twitter features in the main primetime bulletins. I must say as a journalist < biased disclaimer> the news outlets still provide a valuable service in providing in-depth and much needed analysis, but this is immediacy I am talking about here.

So it’s probably a no-brainer that twitter looks like it might be moving into news. Why? Well reports have emerged in The Verge that Twitter is finalizing a deal to bring on NBC News chief digital officer Vivian Schiller as its new head of news, Added to this is the launch of Event Parrot, an account devoted to sending you breaking news from around the world via direct message. At the time of writing, Event Parrot just had one lonely tweet and almost 34,000 followers. It promises ‘Follow me to receive direct messages that help you keep up with what’s happening in the world.’

So it remains to be seen what this service will do. While Twitter has a valuable role to play in breaking news, at the moment the content is haphazard, unreliable, often just a series of repetitive retweets and spam like commentary so there would seem to be huge opportunities to perhaps streamline or be able to filter comments and receive a higher quality of commentary. This a model which will evolve and I think there is a lot of potential here – let’s just say watch this space!




Our pick of the Fringe

LeGalaxie & Mother

September is back to school time, the summer is over, it’s time to get serious again… or so you would think. Thankfully September also means the Dublin Fringe Festival is back and you can look forward to planning some great nights out and continuing the summer partying vibe, only this time you may need to wear some warmer clothes!

An event that really caught my eye is the dream combination of nightclub Mother and the band currently owning every stage they play, Le Galaxie. For one night only they are bringing their good vibes and great tunes to Meeting House Square for what promises to be a right knees up!!

For details click here

Have you heard of Thunderclap?

Want your twitter message to get out to hundreds of people at once? Or how about getting it trending on twitter? Then take a look at Thunderclap, the new crowdspeaking platform recently set up by DeDe.

A message will be Thunderclapped if it gets a certain number of supporters by a certain date in time, determined when you create the message. The default setting is 500 supporters within seven days. Once the goal is reached, the message will be automatically re-tweeted by every person who supported your message by clicking the “Back this Message” button.

The site is partnering with notable people who have strong social media followings. Essentially, the person sends out an invite tweet (or status update or email), encouraging people to support a message and take action. This message will link them to the Thunderclap website. Currently, there is no limit to the number of Thunderclaps per day, but the company says it’s keeping it small to start so as not to crash any servers. It’ll also be measuring the effectiveness of certain Thunderclaps as it rolls out.

So what do you reckon will you be trying Thunderclap??

Need some website inspiration?

I was recently working on a redesign of a website for a work project and it can be really hard to know when you and a designer are on the same page and thinking of the same end goal. Does your vision of what it looks like match theirs? No amount of planning and wireframing sometimes can help so I came across this great website which seems to have an infinite amount of website templates to choose from.

Generally one of the first things a designer will say is to choose some websites you like and what aspects of them you would like to see on your new site. So this is when siteinspire comes into its own as you can search by categories and come up with a whole mood board before you know it. Here are some of my favourites below!








Oxegen vs Electric Picnic

Well I know which one wins out in my mind but this very interesting infographic put together by the folks in gives some very valuable insights.  With more festivals emerging every year, this has become a fiercely competitive space for brands so any info which profiles digital audiences and provides hard data in an accessible format gets a thumbs up from me!


Press release · Friday July 26, 2013


The vital protocol which will cover all exports of US soybean and involves almost 300,000  farmers will ensure a commitment to sustainable production practices for US soy into the future.

The Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA) has welcomed the introduction of the US sustainability programme and says that it will incentivise farmers and the wider industry to continually strive for greater innovation and positively impact the Irish feed industry.

The sustainability programme has been developed in order to set standards across a range of industry specific issues including environmental objectives, social responsibility, promoting economic growth and an improvement in technology and cultural practices. The system measures positive environmental benefits nationally such as water quality, insecticide use, soil erosion, C02 emissions and biodiversity enhancement which is based on a robust set of data and backed up by local conservation officers and third party auditing.

This creates a unique opportunity for the US soybean industry to become a leader in the industry by setting a precedent and benchmark for international customers currently reviewing sustainability requirements for suppliers.

“One of the really great concepts with the recently launched US sustainability programme is that it encourages farmers and industry to continually innovate, to look at new techniques and to opt for systems that make the entire chain more sustainable in the future.  The Irish feed industry is consistently asked by our customers whether we are sourcing our feed materials in a sustainable manner, so this will have a direct positive impact on us also,” says Michael Phelan, President ,  IGFA.

Previously there was no opportunity for the soybean industry to show international customers who were reviewing sustainability requirements for suppliers that US farmers are already meeting high standards for sustainable soy production.

”While we are large importers of feed materials these products primarily are by-products of the food industry.  The change in attitude of the US food industry towards sustainability has really been a major driver for the launch of this initiative. We benefit by being able to purchase sustainable by-products for our rations. In addition, this protocol fits alongside the already existing schemes such as RTRS Pro-terra and provides customers with options depending on the end market requirements,” says Phelan.



  • The Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA) represents the interests of the Irish feed manufacturers and suppliers.
  • Members are encouraged to be members of an Internationally recognised Feed safety assurance scheme. Schemes must be independently certified to EN 45011 standard.
  • The IGFA receives no commercial advantage from any of the schemes.

For further information please contact Nicole Freeman on 086 3988 066 or