The value of Twitter when news breaks
I spent the evening, like many in North America, watching news reports and my Twitter feed fly by with the news and reactions to death/killing of Osama bin Laden. It’s interesting to me to watch the way these things go, because I’ve found for a while that people, including myself, complain about cable news. And how in spite of being on 24 hours a day, never seems to be quite up to speed. And how social media can help break those barriers.
Twitter doesn’t break news for me often in the sense that hours before an event is reported I know about it. It is my central channel for news, though, so what I like about social media is its ability to provide me with things that are easy to miss through all the pundit and questionable-expert-commentator babble.
RT @xenijardin CNN reporting fact that tipped off ops: mansion valued at over $1M but "had no phone or Internet access"
— Bora Zivkovic (@BoraZ) May 2, 2011
Additionally, @whitehouse was live-tweeting Obama’s speech, which is good because I was able to revisit the soundbites I didn’t record while watching. Like this one:
Obama: “the US is not – and never will be – at war with Islam…Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims”
— The White House (@whitehouse) May 2, 2011
Other social media are important in the evolution of the news cycle, beyond Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to check out the creation cycle of our modern encyclopedia, too:
love watching Wikipedia articles evolve at times like this http://is.gd/HGSBji #binladen
— Alec Couros (@courosa) May 2, 2011
Outside of the actual breaking news, tonight gave an important insight into why it is important to be authentic on social media. If you schedule your tweets in advance and news breaks, well, you might seem a bit out of place!
Times like these make auto-tweets really silly!
— Alicia C. Staley (@stales) May 2, 2011
It’s strange to have been out of the States for major political events in the past three years. I don’t miss the gross celebratory enthusiasm that accompanies military success; however, that is balanced by the recognized need for Obama and his nation to get a “win” under their belts.
Couldn't say it better RT @timbray: The world is better without OBL but the celebration outside the White House nauseates me.
— Daniel Hooker (@danhooker) May 2, 2011
Impromptu celebrations show me just how much we've needed a reason to. We've not celebrated as a nation in too long.
— Simon S. Lee (@simonslee) May 2, 2011
My Twitter stream was also filled with jokes. Jokes about TSA security (“does this mean I can take X on a plane now?”), jokes about Donald Trump. But, my two favorites I’ll share here were unique (at least in my stream).
sudo rm -rf /bin/laden
— Matt Drance (@drance) May 2, 2011
I'm just glad it wasn't the "there's an asteroid we can't stop" speech.
— Alec Sulkin (@thesulk) May 2, 2011
Finally, I’ll leave you with a thought from outside the USA, and looking ahead to tomorrow’s big night in Canada: the federal election. This is shaping up to be quite a week. Goodnight, Twitter. Thanks for the memories.
Excited to see Canada's pro-Net-Neutrality, pro-fair-copyright, anti-surveillance NDP is in the running for tomorrow election!
— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) May 2, 2011