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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Good, bad or ugly, it will be Tweeted


January 20. 2013 3:51PM

I was going to write this column about Twitter and how it has become a useful tool for the Union Leader and some of our readers.

But then I looked at my Twitter feed the other night and became totally confused, and engrossed, by the story of Manti Te'o and Lennay Kekua.

I knew the star Notre Dame footballer by sight and by reputation, but I wasn't sure of the name or what the heck people were suddenly saying about him on Twitter.

Twitter is an Internet feed that allows you to follow the 140-character (that's the limit) "tweets" of others. Various news services, including the Union Leader, and various individuals, including senior political reporter John Distaso, editorial page editor Drew Cline, Union Leader sports staffers, and yours truly, use Twitter.

In one sense, it is a headline service. Distaso will develop a political or government story of interest and he will write it, post it to, and alert his Twitter followers. They can click on the link in John's tweet and read the story. You can follow John by signing up for a Twitter account of your own and then finding him at @jdistaso.

Everyone on Twitter has their own handle, preceded by the "at" sign. We have @DrewHampshire for Drew Cline; @UnionLeader for the web; @NHULSports for sports. Twitter followers may find that a story that John or Drew has tweeted is also automatically tweeted out @UnionLeader.

My own handle is @deucecrew. That's a homage to my days running the Number Two engine at the Cog Railway.

Several of our reporters and correspondents also Tweet. Jason Schreiber, who is a tireless independent correspondent, is also a weather bug. Follow him @Schreibernews and you will know more about what's happening with the local weather than from the TV talking heads.

Want to know about Nashua area news? @Kimber_Houghton will put you in touch with correspondent Kimberly Houghton.

Our State House bureau pro, Garry Rayno, tweets @grayno2, and if you follow Manchester city government, Ted Siefer is your man @tbsreporter.

Editors here also follow regional and national news services and I keep in touch with my most-liberal pal, Politico columnist Roger Simon, @politicoroger. I once saved Roger's life in Beirut, but that's a story for another day.

Other than news sources, the big users of Twitter appear to be self-absorbed celebrities, the Queen of England, the Pope, and some pro golfers.

I don't know if Manti Te'o tweets. But his unusual name and story were all over Twitter last week. It was revealed by a news website that his incredible story of rallying his team to victory in honor of his girlfriend, who had died of leukemia within six hours of his grandma's death, was really incredible. As in it never happened.

It was a hoax. Mr. Te'o, a Hawaiian Mormon, (I now even doubt this) says he was himself the victim of a hoax. Turns out the girlfriend didn't exist and he had only known her online.

What's next? Will we learn that Lance Armstrong cheated to win bike races? That Bill Clinton did have sex with that woman? That the Easter Bunny has left the building?

Whatever it is, it will be Tweeted.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or via Twitter @deucecrew.

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