a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

More on Twitter as a newsie

Posted on the September 9th, 2010

In light of my post yesterday about Twitter as a news tool, here’s a weigh-in on GigaOM.com that I just saw today — “Like It or Not, Twitter Has Become a News Platform” (by Mathew Ingram,  Sept 8, 2010).

…the reality is that, for all its flaws, Twitter is a publishing tool, and an increasingly powerful one. And it can be used by anyone, journalist and non-journalist alike.

Read the full post here.

Reader Comments (0) Comments Off on More on Twitter as a newsie

Mighty Twitter shines again: Discovery hostage crisis*

Posted on the September 8th, 2010

Perhaps something not fessed-up to enough by some guardians of traditional journalism (aka old media), is that its classic reporting model has an unavoidable built in awkwardness. Steps: 1) the event happens; 2) the tip or report arrives to the editor or staff writer; 3) physical bodies are (cumbersomely) dispatched to interview, photograph or shoot, and write the thing up; 4 ) publication or broadcast… finally.

So however worthy and enduring this old model of spreading the news, it seems evident that the undesirable elements of delay and artificiality are inextricably interwoven into the process.

Viewed from this perspective then, Twitter and its amazingly democratic and efficient model of access and instant publication can only be seen as a useful step forward in execution of the news reporting task.

But the errors, the errors! you hear the purists cry. Yes (perfection eludes us yet again), but this is more than offset, in my opinion, by the spontaneous authenticity, the speed, and the virtually unlimited scope of delivery of the Twitter product.

The ideal solution, as some newspapers are (a bit sluggishly) embracing, is for traditional media to utilize Twitter as a indispensable new tool that has the potential to greatly enhance journalism.

For the most recent example of Twitter winning the news race, read Katy Gathright’s paean to Twitter in a  blog post on Social Times (“Twitter Trumps Traditional Media in Discovery Hostage Crisis” Sept 2, 2010).

* Discovery Hostage Crisis

Reader Comments (1) - Post a Comment

For those who still don’t understand how crucial Twitter is?

Posted on the July 25th, 2010

If you want to change the world, as they say, and still don’t understand how important social media (Twitter, Facebook et al) is as a primary tool, then you might want to watch this short video featuring digital strategist, Cheryl Contee.

Contee was speaking at the Netroots Nation conference (ending today) in Las Vegas. She highlights some important statistics about who’s using social networking media, and offers a few powerful dos and do nots for social activists and organizations.

For example, Contee explains why now “there is no digital divide.”

Though the conference is USA focused, the info about Twitter and Facebook is applicable across the globe.

Reader Comments (1) - Post a Comment

Twitter: it’s not so simple

Posted on the March 7th, 2008

No, I am not saying this keeping-in-touch technology isn’t simple to use, because it is. I’m referring to more substantive uses of the mini-blogging service that may surprise you, just as they did me.

For example, last October the Los Angeles Fire Department made use of Twittering while fighting California’s wildfires. Also, the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering uses Twitter to pass along info to its students. And U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards all use the service. This all according to Wikipedia. (And see here for a video of a University of Texas prof describing how he uses Twitter with his students — “Teaching With Twitter”, Professor David Parry).

But what is Twitter exactly?

It’s an ultra-streamlined messaging service. Each message is limited to 140 characters only, but you can send that message simultaneously to as many people as you like (from your cell phone or computer). And the service itself is free.

Just last month, an article in The New York Times described Twitter’s popularity (“If You Can’t Let Go, Twitter”
by Michelle Slatalla, Feb 4, 2008):

Twitter’s popularity is growing steadily (nearly 1.2 million users visited Twitter.com in December, a 223 percent increase over the same month in the previous year, according to comScore Inc., which measures Internet traffic). But it still has a much smaller following than top social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Two more places to go for more info: One is a short, but highly informative, video interview with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone — done last August by Intruders.tv. And for a sense of why the average Twitterer, perhaps, enjoys the service, see this article in Wired last June (“Clive Thompson on How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense,” June 26, 2007)

And to find out in two minutes how to use Twitter, watch this video below, just posted this week on YouTube, by commoncraft.com.

Reader Comments (0) Comments Off on Twitter: it’s not so simple