Twitter: News at the speed of light
I was a late Twitter convert, only joining up at the behest of a friend who regularly spoke of its virtues in connecting with her fellow poets and Gertrude Stein enthusiasts.
I am a bit ambivalent about contributing to conversations surrounding the latest social networking fads but the other day I had a realisation that I get most of my news from Twitter.
The realisation came to me as a bit of a shock, when I was talking to my housemate about the Liberal Party leadership woes.
She hadn’t been following it and asked me where I get my news from. I thought about it briefly.
I rarely buy the newspaper anymore, I skim the SMH, ABC and the Australian homepages, I visit a host of US news sites but when it comes to actually reading articles, not just headlines, I go to the links recommended to me by those I follow on twitter.
Twitter is probably one of the most effective information aggregators on the internet today.
But following journalists and media workers on Twitter is really where it comes into its own. I get news from the Canberra Press Gallery, before their respective employers get it.
The Liberal leadership spill saga is a case in point in demonstrating how Twitter is revolutionising news.
News about the spill on Twitter is instantaneous.
Journos are tweeting what their sources are saying as soon as they hear it and their views go directly to those who “follow” them minus their news organisation’s editorial filter.
If you don’t have a twitter account but would like to see a timeline of how the Liberal drama has unfolded, type #spill in the Twitter search box. There appears most of the tweets reporting the issue.
All the happenings in Canberra are live-tweeted by the journalists watching it, replete with sardonic commentary at its finest.
After Tony Abbott took the leadership Spill and Tony Abbott were trending topics.
As soon as the Liberals chose Abbott as their leader this morning, it was all over Twitter in an instant, I raced out to tell my flatmate: “Guess who is the new leader of the Liberal Party?!”
This method of news consumption is not without its problems. The instantaneous nature of it means that unconfirmed rumours are in the mix and the story is in a constant state of flux.
It unfolds before your eyes, which can result in a bit of confusion.
One needs to take Twitter commentary with a healthy dose of scepticism but I have found myself a lot more informed of the goings-on in Canberra than had my only source of news been the nation’s broadsheets – and the conversation is often a lot more amusing to boot.
“Turnbull “The Liberal Party has to be a progressive movement” - the sound of fainting conservatives washes over the land,” said Crikey’s poll analyst, Pollytics, after Turnbull’s Monday press conference.
With Abbott as leader I think the fainting conservatives are on the road to recovery.
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