Twitter Live

I am intrigued by the impact in real time of social media, specifically Twitter, on live events. I find it fascinating that people use Twitter to participate in events, even when they are not present, by offering information or opinion. The 140 character limitation of a tweet gives an immediacy and urgency to audience participation, even when the audience is a global and virtual one. Sometimes the information sent by observers is insider information available only to them, and this gives Twitter an advantage over other news forms that rely on the infrastructure of traditional journalism. At other times, it is simply the urgency of mobilizing people around a short term goal that makes Twitter seem so transformative. In many cases, however, Twitter is simply a tool to spread time-sensitive information, such as celebrity gossip, to large numbers of people in a short period of time. Much like the introduction of cable news and the 24 hour news cycle during the Gulf War, Twitter is revolutionizing societal expectations about the delivery of timely information. Continue reading