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Using Twitter to deliver CNN Breaking News (Updated)

Update: It appears that CNN might not be doing this themselves, but rather, someone else James Cox using Twitter via the API. The result is the same, and I like the idea of being able to plug in data sources like this even better! Now, off to read the documentation for the Twitter API

I was just browsing the latest Public updates on Twitter, after adding Nick Starr as a reciprocal friend, when I noticed an entry from “CNN Breaking News“.

It seems like CNN someone is experimenting with Twitter as a way to deliver breaking news updates. Smart. I get a lot of breaking news from my friends on Twitter (like earthquakes), so as long as CNN doesn’t spam us, and keeps it limited to real “breaking news”, this could be a very useful service.

I’ve added them as a Friend – right now, there are only 4 “followers”. I expect that’ll grow soon. :-) We’ll see how they do. Right now, their latest update is about an airliner that went missing in Indonesia. They need to learn about the limited size of updates, though, because it got cut off.

What other services/information would you like to see delivered via Twitter? I think weather updates would be cool, if done right (not too much noise, just stuff that’s really important – big storms, etc.).

I’m using Twitter more and more, because of how context sensitive it is. I have it set up to deliver updates to me via Google Talk IM when I’m online, so when I’m at a computer, it’s just like regular IM. When I’m not online, the updates go to my cell phone as text messages (you can post messages via IM, text message, and the Twitter website, too). And I have it set up not to send text messages at night, but I subscribe to the RSS feed Twitter generates for all of my friends, so I never miss an update – I can read up on all of the wild parties the morning after. Updates are always delivered to the right place at the right time. Never intrusive. Feels nice. :-)

For those who don’t know what Twitter is, think instant messaging that doesn’t care if you’re in front of a computer or not. You update the Twitter service with “what you’re doing”, and the update goes out to your friends. It feels much more immediate than blogging, or even IM. I’m “Josh Bancroft” if you want to add me as a friend. I’ve also added my latest updates on Twitter to the sidebar of my blog, so you can follow me that way. I usually only add people that I know, to avoid the list getting too big and too noisy.

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10 thoughts on “Using Twitter to deliver CNN Breaking News (Updated)

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  5. Yeah,

    It was a mashup – been wanting breaking news on my phone for a while. CNN Breaking News comes as email, so I simply setup an email-to-twitter gateway using their really nice API.

    All I have to do now is wait for the C&D from CNN 😀

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