Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Has Twitter turned into the online equivalent of cable news? Reuters Ben Walsh thinks so




@ the Liquid News Room

In a crisis, Twitter morphs into cable news

By Ben Walsh
December 19, 2012


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

(Other persons' thoughts on) The Impact of Twitter on Journalism from PBS via Mediabistro

Worth watching and thinking about:

Civic engagement: Twitter as tool

"Graphic" Matt Elliott of Metro reminds Toronto residents to speak--or at least click--now or forever hold their peace. City council is willing to listen to people talk about the upcoming budget but only if they register by 4 p.m. on Dec. 4. Matt Tweets:

The content in this Tweet is the property of Matt Elliott and is replicated here for educational purposes.

The Great Twitter Experiment 2012--soon to be 2013--will continue to look for examples in which Twitter is used for this purpose. Other examples are welcome and will be added to this space.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Arjun Basu invents the "Twister", writes short stories in 140 characters

@arjunbasu a.k.a Content Director of Spafax Canada and past president of th Canadian Magazine Awards has coined the word "Twister" to describe the short stories he writes and posts on his Twitter micro-blog.

An example: 

Another example:

These Tweets are the property of Arjun Basu & are reproduced here for research and educational purposes because they represent a unique use of Twitter--or at least one that was previously undocumented on the What Would Morgan (a.k.a. E.M. Forster) Do? blog.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Two observations on a Friday night: when all the best Tweeting happens [unless there is a monster storm]. Twitter builds physical community? during & after Sandy; @shawnmicallef shows once again that he is the Tom Eliot of the digital age

I saw two things in my Twitter feed today that I decided merit mention.

1. @TheMatthewKeys wrote:

I wrote: Both heartwarming and simultaneously deeply ironic. Up there with 's "little campfire of Twitter posts" in his hands:

Also: So interesting how for years the Internet transcended geography to create virtual communities and now Twitter is doing the opposite.

People including write about how Twitter has helped build REAL "meet the neighbours" communities during & in wake of Sandy.

2. Shawn Micallef @shawnmicallef writes poetry.
Maybe not T.S. Eliot; maybe Jack Kerouac.
Or some combination of the two.

Here, in reverse order; i.e. in the order in which he Tweeted (paragraphs are mine KN):

The bored looks of the Ossington-Dovercourt Dundas Corridor. 
They are so bored. 
They are out but Friday bored. 
They twiddle their hair.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Steve Ladurantaye's real time book review

On the evening of Oct. 26, Globe & Mail ROB media beat reporter Steve Ladurantaye started reading Brian Lilley's CBC Exposed on his e-reader and began Tweeting about it. After one or two posts, he declared that he was going to stop.
But followers immediately weighed in, encouraging Ladurantaye to keep going--which he did, for a couple of hours and 35-plus very entertaining and insightful Tweets (plus diversions into secondary conversations), pulling readers along through the book.

I don't know if this is the first time anybody has ever done this but it is the first time I have watched this being done so it's made this list. It was better than a lot of T.V. (perhaps not CBC; but certainly, if I can offer my own opinion, anything produced so far by Sun Media).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

If Rick Mercer had written for Winston Churchill: Andrew Coyne Tweet Rant for the Edification of All

On the night of October 25, National Post columnist Andrew Coyne let loose with a tweeted rant about transfer payments.

On Twitter, I commented that this read as if Rick Mercer had written a speech for Winston Churchill.

I have a vision of Churchill striding or marching around some Churchillian street--wide boulevards with waves breaking on a barbed wired-beach in the background--rather than graffiti-painted alleyways. I have not yet come up with a suitable setting for @acoyne.

Yet I decided this use of Twitter is different from what I have observed and documented to date. The transfer payment Tweets struck me as deserving their own category.

They are not reportage--or breaking news--or coverage/description of a talk show or interview being conducted by another person--and nor are they, like Noreen Flanagan's column, Coyne's next column divided into 140-character bursts (although I will check this to make sure that it's not the case, and report back if it is).

Instead,  they read like a 15-Tweet piece of political poetry.

I will upload the Tweets: they will be in reverse order, as they appeared on Twitter.

Note: this content is the property of Andrew Coyne.


Noreen Flanagan Nov. ed note: Twitter as delivery mechanism for print journalism

This fall, Noreen Flanagan, editor of the Canadian edition of Elle magazine, a rare fashion and beauty publication that consistently publishes writing in which individual writers' voices shine through, Tweeted out her editor's column in bursts of 140 characters or less.

 I watched it appear live on the screen, as she Tweeted this piece of writing, and it struck me as a different category of Twitter use than the ones I had previously identified.

Flanagan Tweeted her November editor's note, which, interestingly, was on the subject of her first Tweet.

The writing was engaging, as Flanagan's works does tend to be, but there was something captivating about watching it unfurl in real time.

 Rather than Storify, I suggest that people look the posts up and read them as they originally appeared on Twitter: @Noreen_Flanagan #ednote, Oct. 13, 2012.

There are 18 Tweets and they are fun to read, even as static posts.

 I will do my best to reproduce those Tweets here.

NOTE: This content is the property of Noreen Flanagan and Elle Canada.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Twitter as sheer entertainment


Sharing the various McKayla Maroney "not impressed" Tumblrs which have been capped by McKayla Maroney satirizing herself:

Gold medal in the meta-meme goes to ... not impressed by the pool being closed. via

Twitter as live micro-blogging device

Having posted the example from Matthews Keys's Twitter work in the summer, I have spent the past month paying attention to news and other events that are live-blogged using Twitter.

There appear to be two distinct categories:
1. Reporter/writer goes out into the world, observes something, writes the play-by-play. This would fall under my original "reportage/observation" category.
2. Reporter/writer monitors another news or information source and provides readers with a play-by-play. This is what Keys did; it's what the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale is doing this afternoon with Toronto mayor Rob Ford and his councillor-brother-sidekick-mouthpiece Doug on their weekly talk radio program.

This secondary media coverage--usually used, as far as I can see, with live television or radio broadcasts of interview/talk shows, is an interesting use of the micro-blog.

Examples from Daniel Dale's 1010 Tweets:

NewsTalk 1010 host Jerry Agar will be a guest on the NewsTalk 1010 show hosted by the Fords today. 

The first 20 minutes of the show have been devoted to the Chicago trip. The Fords believe it was a major success. 

Blake Hutcheson, Oxford Properties and Build Toronto chair, is now on air talking about the value of the trip. 

About an hour into the show, we're done with Chicago; Fords are now interviewing Hadfield, talking Summit Series. 

I plan to keep a list, here, adding to it when my Twitter feed brings in other examples of this kind or people suggest good examples of Twitter as a source of live but moderated media.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Something new! from Matthew Keys the deputy social media editor at Reuters:

Another use of Twitter: not first-hand observed journalism but a combination of secondary observation and curation: Reuters' Matthew Keys distributes what he identifies as the highlights of a TV interview in Tweeted bursts.


Rep. Akin says he did research, found that facts didn't match study he thought about during TV interview.

Sean Hannity to Rep. Akin: "Democrats now have a ton of ammunition."

Sean Hannity to Rep. Akin: "I'm a Christian, so I believe in forgiveness."

Rep. Akin on Hannity's radio program: "People will understand when you tell them, look I'm not perfect. It's possible to make mistakes."

Sean Hannity to Rep. Akin: "I believe in accepting people's apologies. The left doesn't accept them though."

Sean Hannity to Rep. Akin: "Sometimes an election is bigger than one person."

Rep. Akin on Hannity's radio program: "I've just run a very tough primary race in the state of Missouri"

JUST IN -- Rep. Akin on Hannity's radio program: "I'm announcing today that we're going to stay in"

Rep. Akin on Hannity's radio program: "When I was running for this race, I never told anybody I was perfect."

Rep. Akin on Hannity's radio program: "I had heard one time a medical report that said it's harder to get pregnant under those conditions."

Friday, August 3, 2012

Submit suggestions as comments or Tweets

Post comments below OR post suggestions as Tweets by using #GTEX2012

How do people use Twitter? Aug. 2 discussion & update

Two items were discussed last evening.

1. Does the use of Twitter to post witty quotes/comment on plot while a user is watching a film count as part of INPUT #5 (Blather) or does it deserve a separate item number?

For now, GTEX moderators have decided that it should be 5 b) intelligent blather.

This may be upgraded to something--creation of cultural content?--in future if observations warrant.

2. Mathew Ingram @mathewi posted the following observation on Aug 2:

it's remarkable how similar Instagram pics are regardless of city or country: food, faces, animals, the sky:

which will be worked into the list as soon as a suitable category heading is found.


Monday, July 30, 2012

The list: How do people use Twitter

How do people use Twitter?

I am looking for bedrock: the essential building blocks of interaction and meaning.

If you boil the way people produce and consume content using Twitter down to basic common denominators, what do you have?

How Twitter is used:

Output: what people are doing when they Tweet

1. PROMOTION-self or product
a) branding;
b) driving eyeballs

a) for own writing/photos/media
b) for that of other: the "water cooler with magazine clips" (Stephanie Butler)

a) private yet public dialogue
b) multiple contributers to single thread

Breaking news or straight facts: can be 2b but also original

a) The use of Twitter to report and disseminate news is seen as starting with Janis Krum's Tweet & Twitpix January 15, 2009, when a plane landed in the Hudson River. 
Followed by: Steve Paikin writing inverted pyramid stories on Twiiter during G20 in Toronto, June 2010; NPR's Andy Carvin's curation of Arab Spring Tweets starting Dec. 2010-Jan. 2011; Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Jan. 2011; Brian Stelter on NYT weather (Joplin, MO, May 2011); London riots that fall; many news events since. 
b) Also Shawn Micallef's flaneur observations

c) To write what Poynter's Roy Peter Clark, in January, 2011, sagely dubbed "mini serial narratives":

a) What a person did/bought/saw (not in 4 or 5)/ate.
b) Entertaining and possibly cultural significant blather.

Personal jury is out. I am still waiting for contributions about this.

Not same as #1--no branding/promo/books/ideas.
What George Carlin would call other persons' stuff=their shit.

Instagram pics of food, faces, animals, the sky:

Input: value to people when they consume Tweets

a) world events
b) ideas
c) what other people ate/did; what their pets ate/did
d) information exchange re: practicalities of life.

Source of stories/art/photographs/films to look at and read.

This would be fleeting--electronic only--different from community.

This is a bigger issue I am exploring; hoping for contributions.

Is this the same as procrastination/time waster/filler or does that deserve its own category heading?

?? Jury is out on this also. Research is ongoing.