A Canadian Journalist Had No Chill About Being Retweeted By Taylor Swift
WE HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TAYLOR SWIFT's person she RTed.
It was a normal Thursday for CBC Newfoundland news reporter Zach Goudie. Autumn cast itself over the day, leaves started to change colours, the air was crisp with the promise of fall. Zach steeped his tea, listened to his favourite podcast, giggled at the funny bits, went to the bathroom — thrice — and pressed the power button and was bathed in the soft glow of his computer quietly waking up.
But on Sept. 17, at 1:30 p.m., an American pop singer named Taylor Swift retweeted a tweet from Zach Goudie.
And — not to be dramatic or anything — nothing was the same.
In fact, Zach was so delighted by the RT that he wrote a 3,000-word thinkpiece on it for CBC News, Canada's largest news broadcaster.
In it, he gives an accurate narration and recount of the event:
From then on, my afternoon got much busier, and I didn't check Twitter again until early that evening. When I took out my phone I saw a Twitter notification: "Your Tweet is getting more retweets than usual."
"That's nice," I thought. "How many retweets, I wonder. Ten, maybe 20?"
I looked closely. It was nearly a thousand.
My brow furrowed with confusion.
I frantically scrolled my Twitter notifications backwards to find where this frenzy of activity began. And there, at the beginning of the feed, with the very first retweet, I found the reigning queen of pop culture.
Including an analysis of impressions:
With a single touch of Swift's finger, the audience for my tweet increased by orders of magnitude. The effect can actually be seen in Twitter's analytics service.
One way to measure the success of a tweet is called impressions, which basically means that a tweet was seen by another person. My average tweet generates between 1,000 and 2,000 impressions. A good tweet, 5-10,000. My very best tweet, 20-30,000.
As of this writing, the tweet retweeted by Taylor Swift has generated more than a million impressions.
And a very thorough self-reflection of the retweet:
If I had sent the same tweet 24 hours later, I guarantee that Swift would not have retweeted it.
In daily journalism, there is a truism: better to be quick than clever. There's no point in thinking up a killer headline for your story if doing so causes you to miss your deadline.
My tweet wasn't the cleverest, but because it was among the first to comment on Adams' new song, it stood out from the mountain of tweets that followed shortly thereafter.