How did you used to follow news stories? Well I believe that if you were a TV addict, as everyone was in the 80′s and 90′s, then you tuned in at 9pm to see what was going on when the news companies decided it. Then we got rolling news channels and people started having the news on as a background noise. The the real time internet arrived and everything changed.
Twitter is now the new mainstream.
News breaks, you see it every day still on the rolling news channels but what you find now is that news breaks first to individuals and those individuals create the news. Twitter has become the breaking news channel for the World.
Twitter uses a system of Hashtags (#) so you can follow news stories. In the last year or so the Twitter hashtag itself has become a subject of news discussions on the rolling news as the news companies tell you what is going on or ask your opinions through Twitter.
The first example I can remember of Twittter taking up the slack was the Hudson River plane crash. People inside the plane Tweeted as they were getting out onto the wing. They took pictures with their Smartphones which were immediately uploaded onto Twitter, Flickr and other places. It was a full 20 minutes or so before the mainstream news got wind of the event.
In the last week two of the biggest stories have been Twitter events. The sale of Liverpool FC and the #LFCTrial hashtag was huge. The Chilean miners was the first time that Spanish language hashtags had dominated the trending topics on Twitter. This just shows how the take up of Twitter is growing incrementally.
So what does the new World of Twitter mainstream mean? A constant stream of news? Overwhelm? Targetted Individual News?
The answer to that is up to each individual but I will put my ideas in the next post.
Meanwhile my favourite Tweet of the week came on Thatcher’s birthday yesterday. Now bear in mind that Thatcher is almost senile, it went something like this
“If Thatcher is watching TV she will get really confused and must think she has just died as all she will see are celebrating miners and scousers”
OK it’s cruel (Who cares?) but it caught the Zeitgeist of the day perfectly and combined three news stories perfectly.
- Liverpool takeover: fans voice their joy on Twitter as Tom Hicks exits stage left (telegraph.co.uk)
- Twitter Not Going Mainstream? Correct, It Already IS Mainstream! (socialmediabiz.com)
- A Glimpse Into the Future (inc.com)