Monday, 8 December 2008

Tweeting on Twitter, pro and con

A couple of interesting blogposts about Twitter, the currently hot social networking tool. Municipalist (a blog abouut government blogging)has an entertaining post about the potential of Twitter as a presidential platform. He says that Twitter is the next logical step for a president-elect who has already embraced video, and Twitter would let the public get to know Barack Obama in a way that his videos will never allow. “Could Obama do this? Is it even possible? Certainly it is. We have to make it possible. What kind of democracy is this if the president is literally afraid to…tweet?”
On the negative side, the Technometria blog (authored by Phil Windley, former chief information officer of Utah) points out one of the inherent shortcomings of Twitter as a news source: its lack of context. Because tweets are limited to 140 characters, writers cannot do much more than convey facts or reactions. That was a problem during the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, he says. Reading a stream of comments is “like being in the middle of a crowd that you can't see over and you know something’s happening on the edge, but you can't tell what and you’re trying to figure it out from what people around you are saying. In many cases, they can’t see either — it's mostly hearsay.”
Hat tip: Federal Computer Week

1 comment:

Municipalist said...

Nobody said Twitter is a great news medium. Well, if they did, they are wrong. I say it is just what it is: 140 characters. Call it "news," call it "chat," call it "micro-blogging," call it "tweeting." I won't call it news. It was conceived as a fast and efficient way to stay in touch with your social network. I say it can be more than that, but we do need all the context we can get with our news, to be sure. Government should tweet! Pass it on. -- Craig Colgan,