Lunchtime Links: Defend Your Territory

How one breaking news service differentiated itself in the face of competition from a bigger entity. Also: LinkedIn reaches 200 million users.

Over the past few years, Twitter has become known as the source for breaking news, in no small part due to the work of the Twitter account @BreakingNews, which is owned by NBC.

Verification and prioritization matter more than ever. That’s one reason Breaking News exists.

When Twitter recently announced that it planned to compete with Breaking News, it was the startup’s well-considered response that stood out. That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

What makes us different: In light of Twitter’s decision to filter breaking news on its platform using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, which pays online users small fees to make quick decisions, Breaking News found itself facing newfound competition. But the multifaceted real-time news platform, which is available on Twitter, Facebook, and numerous other social networks, has a major trump card over Twitter’s planned offering: It uses actual journalists. The organization has responded to claims that Twitter is creating the future of news by pointing out the value that Twitter can’t offer. In a blog post written by the company’s Cory Bergman, Breaking News explains:  “In recent years, Twitter’s platform has attracted a growing wave of eyewitness news reports scattered among a firehose of other tweets. Its audience is growing, too. Verification and prioritization matter more than ever. That’s one reason Breaking News exists: We provide a verification layer over the crush of real-time reports, boiling it down to what’s true and what’s important to you.” It’s all about differentiation: How does the value you offer members set up you apart from your competition?

Engage professionally: LinkedIn, which launched in 2003, has been around longer than nearly all of its competitors, but it took longer than other social media sites to reach its most recent milestone: 200 million members. For comparison’s sake, Twitter has more than 500 millions users (although only 200 million are active), and Facebook has twice as many members as Twitter. So, why was LinkedIn’s growth so slow, comparatively speaking?  Other than being a professional network, there initially wasn’t a pressing need to maintain a LinkedIn profile, let alone use the platform regularly. However, LinkedIn’s recent redesign served one priority: exposing professional organizations. Now, LinkedIn is a space where people can connect with a company, not just people they have professional relationships with. This post by CMSWire explores what sets LinkedIn apart from other social networks in terms of growth and influence.

Get serious: According to Jeff De Cagna, FASAE, chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation, it’s time for association leaders to tackle some challenging ideas. His post on the Principled Innovation blog chronicles six ideas to get serious about in 2013. “These are high-impact ideas for association leaders who are serious about taking their organizations to the next level,” De Cagna says in his introduction. What serious ideas are on your agenda to explore in 2013?

What cool stuff have you been reading today? Let us know in the comments.

(John Lund/Digital Vision/Thinkstock)

Anita Ferrer

By Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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