Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Osama, Obama and Twitter

There are quite a few news stories asking if the fellow who inadvertently broke the Osama Bin Laden story had created Twitter's CNN moment. Frankly, I do not understand the question. I myself thought Twitter's CNN moment was two years ago in Mumbai* when that massacre occurred which so shocked the world. Twitter got it first that time, too. Unfortunately, we have become so inured by infoglut that we only remember the now and if journalists call this a CNN moment, so be it. In two years some other news story will break on Twitter and no one will remember this one either.

Jeff Moravec states that Twitter can make shared events come alive, but is wholly inadequate as a news organization. Yes, there are journalists on Twitter, and for these the social media site is a fabulous resource. But Twitter's strength lies elsewhere. As far as being a news delivery system, I agree with Moravec's blog entry at the Minnesota Blog Cabin.

Personally, I think Twitter is a great resource for crowdsourcing. If you want an opinion on a hot issue, check out the Trending Topics. I predicted Obama would be president based on the 9 to 1 ratio of tweets favorable to Obama during the presidential debates. I realize this data has flaws because maybe only certain kinds of people are in that scene. It is still useful, however.

Nevertheless, the fall of Tunisia and Egypt has shown us that Twitter and the new media have great power, despite its limitations. Where it all will lead is anyone's guess though. One thing I know for sure, though, is that I want to talk about something else tomorrow.

Y'all have a good day.

*see Mumbai Heartbreak Hotel, http://tinyurl.com/447fwj9

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