When Stevie Wonder tweets

13 12 2009

Negotiating client No. 9 news discourse

7 11 2009

I am one of the 28,492 people who follow NYU Professor of Journalism Jay Rosen’s tweets. Jay is well-known for launching the People Formerly Knows As The Audience acronym and for mindcasting instead of lifecasting on Twitter. He also has a knack for curating content.

The Gawker story Jay recently linked to is a remarkable piece of investigative journalism (in itself a practice many ‘journalism-is-dead’ advocates never thought would be possible online). The story reconstructs the off-the-record email traffic that ensued when the Eliot Spitzer story broke. Mark Peterson calls it “unwriteable discourse”, Gawker calls it a “the inside of a PR meltdown”.  A recommended and surprisingly cordial tale of news management:

You’d think that, with blood in the water, the traditional coziness that develops between official flacks and the beat reporters who have to talk to them every day would break down into some kind of last-man-standing slugfest. But in the Spitzer case, the opposite happened. The revelations upended the worlds of both reporter and flack alike, and the uncertainty, long hours, and breakneck pace of the scandal actually seemed to throw them together as they worked toward what seems, if you read the e-mail exchanges, like a common goal of getting the news out and behind them.

Twitter is about tuning and feeding

14 10 2009

Lovely, lovely blog post by Howard Rheingold on Twitter literacy. He list his reasons for using Twitter. Even though I don’t agree with all of them, I am reproducing them here in executive summary format because most of his reasons do make sense to me:

Openness – anyone can join, and anyone can follow anyone else;
– it is a rolling present;
– You are responsible for whoever else’s babble you are going to direct into your awareness;
– people give and ask freely for information they need;
A channel to multiple publics
– I’m a communicator and have a following that I want to grow and feed.
– Few people follow exactly the same people who follow them. I follow people who inform or amuse me, and I hope to do the same for people who follow me;
A way to meet new people
– Connecting with people who share interests has been the most powerful social driver of the Internet since day one;
A window on what is happening in multiple worlds
, some of which I am familiar with, and others that are new to me;
– Twitter is not a community, but it’s an ecology in which communities can emerge;
A platform for mass collaboration:
I forgive the cute name of Twestival because this online charity event has raised over a quarter of a million dollars via Twitter, funding 55 clean water projects for 17,000 people in Ethiopia, Uganda, and India.
– Twitter users developed the convention of adding a tag with a hash sign in front of it, like #hashtag, that enable them to label specific topics and events. When I recently participated in a live discussion onstage, we projected in real time the tweets that included a hashtag for the event, an act that blended the people in the audience together with the people on the panel in a much more interactive way than standard Q&A sessions at the end of the panel. After years as a public speaker and panelist, I found it fascinating and useful to have a window on what my previously silent audience was thinking while I was talking.

Disclaimer: I ‘unfollowed’ Howard Rheingold two weeks ago because his tweets about painting do not interest me. His views on social media and journalism do. I rely on other people such as Marcus O’Donnell to curate his tweets for me.

Twitter pros & cons for journalism

29 06 2009

Twitterjournalism‘s Craig Kanalley lists the advantages and disadvantages of twitter for journalism. I love how eyewitness accounts – formerly one of the claims to authority by professional journalists – is now a public good.


  • Instantaneous, “realtime”
  • Potential to grow audience
  • Many different voices and perspectives
  • Worldwide use
  • Tip service
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Free to use
  • Raw, no editing, no filters
  • Democratizes the news
  • Links for more information


  • Verification issues
  • Limiting – 140 characters at a time
  • Not ubiquitous – technology issues for 3rd world countries/poor
  • Rumors, misinformation, especially during breaking news
  • Government censorship
  • Means of propaganda
  • Lack of analysis, deeper meaning
  • Presence of spam, worm attacks
  • Questions of accountability, intentions
  • Squatters and fake accounts

Fight the power: tweet for Iran

17 06 2009

If you use Twitter, then this idea may be of interest. I’ve followed suit. The people of Iran hope you will too. Disclaimer: I have no idea whether this will make a difference, but I’ll try my chances.

There’s a move afoot to support Iran’s democratic forces via twitter. If you use twitter, change your twitter time zone setting to GMT +3.30 and your location to Tehran. State-run security services are searching for people blogging about the current events, so if more people switch it will be more difficult to ID the actual bloggers.

(via Mark Peterson’s Facebook)

Have you heard? Themediaishirin

21 04 2009

From the PR professionals who brought you (and still are bringing you) TheMediaIsDyin, now comes TheMediaIsHirin, a twitter account designed to help “laid off media employees find new work 140 characters at a time.” That being said, I’m still not tweeting. I prefer the old school feel of a blog. Does that sound media illiterate?

Via blogherald.com

Shaq, the Big Microblogger

21 11 2008

Socialmedian.com reports that Shaquille O’Neal is the latest to join the conversation on Twitter.com, the social messaging/status application that’s leading the way in real-time (trans)local news delivery. Wanna know why Twitter works? In short: it’s fast, open, two-way and, most notably, it fills a news void. Do you Twitter?

Shaqs Twitter profile picture

Shaq's Twitter profile picture