Open House Journalism – Twitter Profile: John A. Byrne

This profile was written for the University of Washington Twitter Book.
John A. Byrne, if you read this, please answer our Q&A!

John A. Byrne is one of the most open journalists I have found on Twitter. He allows people to peek into his virtual newsroom and takes their suggestions.

John A Byrne is the Editor-in-Chief of Business week and an outspoken fan of Twitter. In a video on the Business Week website, he talks about the people he follows as well as his own use of Twitter. This video is what brought me to his profile in the first place. The reason? John A Byrne is a Journalist who gives a real inside scoop – he shares with Twitter what will be BusinessWeek’s news of tomorrow!

John A Byrne opens the newsroom to the reader, but he forgot to water the plants!

John A Byrne opens the newsroom to the reader, but he forgot to water the plants!

Out of 100 tweets: 16 @replies, 4 mentions, 1 RT, 67 links, 16 personal or “behind the scenes” tweets.; 5 Hashtags

Date data downloaded : August 12, 2009 0:38 – Aug 3rd
Industry sector : News Media

Twitter ID : @JohnAByrne
Followers : 16 814
Following : 2836
Ratio followers/following : 5,93 : 1

Number posts : 4 886
Account created : Nov. 3rd 2008
First post : unknown

Bio:
Editor-in-Chief, BusinessWeek.com, Digital Journalism Advocate

URLS:
Twitter : http://twitter.com/johnabyrne
Bio link : http://www.businessweek.com/blogs/whatsyourstoryidea/
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=john+a+byrne&init=quick#/profile.php?id=582614545&ref=search&sid=1498038121.2600516224..1 (private)
MySpace : paste None
LinkedIn :  ttp://www.linkedin.com/in/johnabyrne
Org Blog : http://www.businessweek.com/blogs/whatsyourstoryidea/archives/2008/04/an_invitation_t.html
Org website home : http://www.businessweek.com/
Other : http://www.businessweek.com/bios/John_A._Byrne.htm

About:
Like many influential Journalists, John A Byrne is a broadcaster at heart. His Tweets naturally reflect that, but he tries his best to make his tweets not only as relevant as possible, but also to engage readers and incorporate their suggestions.

Analysis

A. General
(A.1) Background: Blue standard cloudy background with a single dead tree. Personal branding? Corporate branding? Negative!

(A.2) Avatar: Portrait picture with what I think is his smile. Actually one of his nicer pictures compared to the horrible (yet more “personal”) shots on LinkedIn and Facebook.

(A.3) Bio: The bio itself gives all relevant information on the person John A. Byrne. He does not assume that people know him and he gives away his personal agenda: Digital Journalism. A short, but good bio!

active and listening, although 2836 people might be too many to listen to

active and listening, although 2836 people might be too many to listen to

(A.4) Transparency: Account transparency is easily given: John A Byrne rules here. Beyond that, Byrne is transparent about the backstage of Business Week through hi tweets.

(A.5) Bio Link: Since the bio itself carries enough information, he makes the Bio link not about himself, but about the reader. It leads to a BW blog of reader suggested stories – this is how Byrne incorporates reader engagement without flooding his stream

B. Tweets
(B.1) Replies: Byrne sometimes has small chats with his buddy Jeff Jarvis or other people on Twitter that he considers important. He also answers direct questions.

(B.2) ReTweets: Not one of Byrne’s strongest points. He does not actively search for topics to converse on or promote other people
(B.3) DM requests: Haven’t found any
(B.4) Hashtags: Minimal use of hashtags suggests that he only rarely hooks into existing conversations. Most of the hashtags used are in conversations he started.
(B.5) (favorite tweets?)

JohnAByrne allows a peek behind the scenes of Journalism

JohnAByrne allows a peek behind the scenes of Journalism

Bynre opens the newsroom for user participation

Byrne opens the newsroom for user participation

C. Questions/Suggestions
(C.1) Questions unearthed during analysis: Are journalists afraid of sharing good stories from other sources? Or do they simply never read them?

(C.2) Suggestions for improvement: Byrne is one of the most open and conversational journalists I have found on Twitter. He has managed to ge beyond the one directional communication. Despite this fact, I would still suggest for him to be more active in going out and tapping into existing conversations. Reading and retweeting significant information by others would be part of this practice.

D. Analytic Services

TwitterGrader: 99.95 (of100)

E. Conclusion
(E.1) Narrative

John A. Byrne brings allows the Twitter community a peek inside the newsroom and he opens up the door for people to step in and give their suggestions. Yet, he does not leave his “office” to go out and seek the conversation with those talking about his subjects outside of his newsroom. His tweets are always relevant and he makes conscious decisions about what he tweets. Keeping a ratio of about 80/20 on promotional vs. personal messages, his personal tweets are generally job related.  Byrne uses his  Twitterstream to crowdsource and he breaks the lead story for the next day on Twitter first. As other broadcasters, however, he does not show a strong interaction in certain topics or ongoing conversations on Twitter and I would be surprised to find him tapping into other conversations or pointing towards them.

Corrected some spelling errors.
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