Ten years of The Earley Edition

the earley edition
On April 9, 2004, the earley edition – as a blog – was started with an inauspicious post titled: IT’S OFFICIAL. And it was officially bad. More along the lines of awkward #FirstTweets with nothing to say.

Aside, I recently earned a mention from the ABC in their #FirstTweet by Australian news outlets roundup, because the first Brisbane Times tweet (still on record) was a reply to me… But dig a little deeper and their REAL #FirstTweet was deleted. #scandal!

Strangely, #FirstTweets lists the first @couriermail tweet as being in 2008, but I set up the first @couriermail Twitter accounts in 2007.

But I digress.

A decade on, and what have been the highlights here? Thankfully I’m no longer a university student in the throes of overdue assignments and Journalism 101, and while posts have fallen behind in recent years there are still some decent ones to look back on.

Easily the most read, linked to, commented on and tweeted article on this website in the last 10 years has been this post: Australia’s Top 100 Journalists and News Media People on Twitter.

Posted in April 2009, the list was larger than 100 but Top 100 sounded good, like it was rigorously tested. It was not. It was clickbait but, disclaimer, I openly acknowledged that!

The list continued to grow as I actively updated it by requests posted in the comments, but three months later had become so large I trimmed it back to 100 and broke out the full list into a new post: 501 Australian Journalists and News Media People on Twitter. Again, it was more than 500, but 501 was a nice, shareable number!

Ever since I’ve been more than happy to let both posts stand as a historical record of who was on Twitter at the time. And they do a good job of that. Have a look through the comments for some familiar names who requested they be added to the list – which itself earned mentions on Crikey, Mumbrella and in The Australian’s Media section. PRINT, no less!

A month earlier, I’d broken down Australian media organisations on Twitter (originally posted January 2008). The ABC had a few active accounts, but across all of Fairfax and News Limited, The Courier-Mail was the only active mainstream media on Twitter, with a fistful of accounts I’d set up in October 2007 being fed from various sections of the website.

Looking back, April was good for one post a year – maybe it was the pressure of the blog ticking over for another year. Another highlight, posted six years ago this week, was SMO: Social Media Optimisation, looking at mainstream media’s response to the rising use of social media in news distribution. And this in 2008, before SMEGs! SMEG, so 2010.

Other than that, it’s been a good 10 years. Graduated, joined the couriermail.com.au online team, became digital editor of Seven News Brisbane, digital editor of Quest Community Newspapers, and now back at The Courier-Mail as engagement editor.

Sure, general population usage is low, but Twitter was a game changer in the journalism industry, and for me personally. My presence and contacts there have played a big part in my career movements over the years thanks to building a reputation and, dare I say it, a ‘personal brand’. Thanks for the memories, Twitter!

As always, I remain passionate about the digital distribution of information, particularly the communication of information that helps people make important decisions in their day-to-day lives. Namely, news. So here’s to another 10 years of innovation and experimentation with the earley edition, @earleyedition, and whatever exciting things come along in the future.

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