Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Problem with News Feeds...

I have tried to capture certain topic-related news feeds as a source for regular "tweets" on Twitter, my social network of choice. Usually those topics come across in a meaningful way to underscore my interests. Unfortunately, I don't have time to review them before they are automatically posted. And that has tended to enable some unwanted posts to slip under the radar.

Consider, for example, the topic "free-market capitalism". Normally, I would welcome reading any article that discusses free-market capitalism as a means to better-understand the conversation employing it. There is one drawback, however. Critics of free-market capitalism also use the phrase, but do so to disparage the concept, not reinforce it. Therein lies my dilemma: How do I eliminate the wacko-left articles that invoke the phrase "free-market capitalism" to trash it?

I've tried adding additional key words to my Google alerts, but I keep coming back to the same result: whatever key words I use the Left in turns will use while writing a piece to criticize the concept I am trying to support. If I try to limit the articles I grab by adding multiple key words or phrases, I find that I miss some really GOOD articles about the topic.

Here is the good news, however. The bad feeds that have come across do not seem to command a very big reaction from my Twitter followers. I've gotten some comments along the lines of "tell me you don't really believe this", and I use those comments to review and (usually) delete the tweet. On other occasions I will get a positive "Retweet" on a news posting from someone that I do not follow or that sounds suspicious, in which case I will also review the article. Again, those reviews often result in my deleting the "tweet" because they do not support MY beliefs.

All in all, I have had some very good reaction to a lot of my news feeds, which encourages me to keep them going. I just want to throw out a disclaimer to say that I won't always get a base hit and will sometimes strike out. Just don't hold those strike-outs against me. They only mean that my next up-to-bat may result in a home-run!

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