Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I get my news from Twitter. Do you?

The reaction to the elections in Iran has had me thinking & talking with my colleagues about yet another tipping point in the transformation of communication & news and the impact of social media, especially Twitter.

With Twitter's new found mainstream awareness, the impact this tool is having on the news out of Iran is exposing its capabilities to a new and larger audience. As some of us learned about its power from the US Airways landing on the Hudson River or the terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai, the world is hearing about a potential revolution in a high profile country primarily from citizens on the ground in Tehran. Well, at least until they were cut off.

A much more articulate explanation of what I've been feeling and seeing can be found in a wonderful post from Brian Solis of TechCrunch who covered a panel at the 140 Characters Conference (#140conf) in New York this week that included Rick Sanchez from CNN and Ann Curry from NBC among others.

Besides the title of the post, "Is Twitter the CNN of the New Media Generation", the salient points I got out of it:

  • "The pursuit of 'now' is conditioning us to expect information as it happens, whether it's accurate or developing"

  • News media may be physically and financially constrained in its ability to evolve and adapt in "Twitter Time"

  • Mainstream media is not covering the world fast enough

  • Media has to figure out how to monetize new (information streams) and platforms

  • As futurist Paul Saffo said: “News doesn’t break, it tweets.”

It's a long post...but well worth the read. Here it is.

UPDATED Additional Reading: Q&A with Clay Shirky on Twitter and Iran

..and the other point of view weighs in from
Business Week. "Iran's Twitter Revolution? Maybe not yet"


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