Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Twitter, more important than traditional media to inform people

The last days Athens go through a really huge and serious demonstrations, disasters and of course battles between anarchists and police.
Athens Center now is almost completely destroyed. One interesting thing among others was how impressive was the fact that Twitter, this micro blogging miracle won the race to inform people.
Everyone using a mobile or his computer became a front line correspondent.
But as in all things, it’s more probable to grasp the idea of something if you participate in it, rather than judging as an observer
Lines of what is happening in real team in city's streets were arriving every second to subject #griots. People through twitter were giving what was happening on the streets, where to go, how to protect each other.

Twitter delivers anymore the news faster than media!


Had it been only for status updates, I’d still consider it silly, but it turned out that Twitter evolved into the so-called micro-blogging platform which has potential and momentum.
Messages are instant, short (hence easier to read), spread around all followers immediately, it allows personal communication and it’s accessible on-the-go from virtually anywhere on Earth there’s cell signal. If you provide useful content, people follow you and get informed; you can evangelize and promote your stuff and services; you can get the news first.
Get the news first? Write the News First! Send the news first! Be around, comment what is going on around!There’s no “breaking news” sessions in Twitter, that’s only in TV.

Through Twitter all the news are breaking!

But the latest tragic incidents in India, showcase (in a very sad way) that the microblogging platform is not only a news source, but the news come faster than traditional media.
People knew more about what is going in Athens or in Mumbai some weeks ago, or things about American elections through Twitter. And they got more information, or real time, in raw format... without any kind of editing from any kind editors.
Traditionally, the power of information was a privilege of the media, so when people begin to claim back some part of it, it sure is not a small thing.
De-centralizing the news sources and spreading it to individuals around the globe could potentially harm long-standing balances in society. People-casting is radically different from news media, yet quite powerful.
The strange thing with people is that there are too many of us and almost totally uncoordinated, yet from within this soup of (mostly useless) information, patterns begin to emerge and it’s not at all improbable for a small piece of information to cause a “hurricane” in a worldwide scale. It’s chaotic, and it can’t be controlled.
I’m pretty sure more and more power will come to the hands of individuals and if the media don’t jump on this wagon they’ll probably regret it.

Media lose their power to break the news, to make people feel surprise.


But perhaps the most thrilling aspect of this interconnected information chaos is how it can be (ab)used to deliberately inject information into the network.
At the same time newspapers or other more traditional media followed news flow through twitter where the information got up first!
Twitter is here to stay and get used from more and more and more people and not only geeks like me or others out there! Twitter is an amazing way to bring people closer, inform them faster, share information faster, opinions, ideas, fight in style but always in short and speedy mode!

/ga

9 comments:

sotomi said...

Indeed media have to adopt and adapt the new platforms or...regret it. Nice post.

cpil said...

Nice one... Media as we know it has started to fade...

kyanoun said...

Nice post George
These horrible days Twitter helped me realize(opened my eyes) that the "news" media are broadcasting, are so old and sometimes fake.
Comparing to the posts of the fellow twitters who were on the road many times i got angry or just laughed with the things i heard on TV or Radio.

Anonymous said...

Dead, is the world of media as we know it

Sofia said...

I don't disagree here. Twitter can really break the news and we saw this with the Greek riots as well as the Mumbai attacks. Where I still like old media is when the time for 'analysis' articles comes in. They still have their use.

Thibet said...

@sofia,
I do agree with you. Old or traditional media have to keep their role as the analysis maker. Only through that can be driven to future
/g

CMD said...

Great article George! Was planning on writing about this whole experience myself. Truth is that Twitter really did show it's practical and informative side, unfortunately in these disastrous occasions. I can't say that I followed up on the Mumbai issue through Twitter, but the Athens riots had me refreshing my cell phone every 2 mins.

The pattern was always the same. Twitter posters sent in the information. After 3 or 4 different people posting the same thing, this was a means of cross-checking the info, I noticed TV stations we're relaying that single piece of information... Amazing!

At one instance, a twitterer posted that Kolonaki was under attack. 3 mins later, there was a TV crew headed to Kolonaki following a tip they had.

That tip can be easily identified as Twitter.

But let's face it, Twitter wasn't the only "high tech" gadgetry used. SKAI TV broadcasted live via 3G video calls, thus rendering the huge and bulky cameras and crews of three people, obsolete.

So, what we saw these past few days happening is that, although people headed to the web for immediate information, they were not the only ones. Traditional media relied on these new technologies as much as we did. So, we can't really say that the traditional media is fading out, or dying... they're just adapting, just like we are...

spdd said...

Nice said George. Either the media will have to adapt or they will become outdated pretty soon. Twitter was the only means of information this whole past week, which had me working almost 20 hours a day, and I should say I didn't feel I was missing the information at all.

Twitter has gone a long way from just being a "what are you doing" answering service. It's become a fully functional information channel that's powered by people like you and me, which gives it a great advantage over the guided media like tv and the press. I can see it only grow in potential.

P.S. makes me really happy that the days of "oh no, Twitter is down again!" are a thing of the past.

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