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Darren Goode: How Social Media Affects The Way He Works

2 min. read

We recently hosted Politico senior energy & environment reporter Darren Goode for a Scaling Green Communicating Energy talk. Our first post discussed Goode's estimates of the odds that various pieces of energy legislation will pass Congress and be signed into law. Our second post featured Goode's tips for pitching your energy story to a top reporter like him.  Today, we've got Goode's thoughts on how social media - particularly Twitter - is changing the way he reports and informs readers.

  • According to Goode, the first thing in the morning when he wakes up, before he even gets out of bed, he checks the Twitter app on his IPhone to see what's happening in the world. Goode notes that the Washington Post and other news sources will have "early morning stories where they'll be waiting in order to run something first thing."
  • Goode often tweets links "that I know are available for free, because there are so many stories that are out there, just on Politico's site, so many stories, things could get so easily lost" (e.g., because the story's behind a paywall, or simply because of the vast amount of material out there on the internet).
  • Goode tries "to tweet little nuggets, even some stories that I know that only subscribers can see...definitely do that to try to expand my exposure."
  • With regard to use of Twitter hash tags, Goode says he generally doesn't use them, "but I should." One exception is if he's "going to a conference, if they announce ahead of time that a certain event is going to have a hashtag and that there's going to be some sort of live tweeting involved," then he "will keep tabs on that."
  • Goode has also "tweeted to take credit for a scoop.”
  • Finally, Goode points out that people "make news" on Twitter. "Public officials...tweet on there and that could be news... . People make announcements; people make observations on there."
  • The bottom line, in Goode's view, is that Twitter is "without question...an extremely important tool. "

One thing that jumped out at us is how heavily Darren Goode relies on Twitter versus other forms of social media – Facebook, YouTube, etc.  Our guess is that Twitter's news-oriented format and highly focused content stream, geared towards the user's specific interests, has great utility for a busy reporter like Darren Goode. And, although some people might assume that Twitter would contribute to information overload, we'd argue that if used correctly, it actually has the ability to do the exact opposite – to sift through the noise to find the specific signal you're looking for. That's exactly what makes it, as Goode explains, "an extremely important tool."