If you haven’t heard of twitter yet, get ready for a crash course. Amidst the social internet networking website boom of late is an emerging tool that journalists have found invaluable at keeping the public informed. Twitter.com was originally started as a interactive social site for people to post short blogs about their daily activities via cell phone. The idea behind such a venture was keeping friends and family up to date (by the minute/second) on what you were up to; whether it was walking the dog or eating a bologna sandwich. You are given 140 characters to “tweet” on whatever you fancy. Your followers can receive these updates online or by cell phone text message.
Recently, news journalists have taken this idea and run with it. The attractive factor being that anyone online or with cell phone access can see up to minute updates on whatever topic needs talking about.
Twitter really came of age recently as several journalists used twitter to cover Hurricane Ike. Robert Quigley, internet editor at statesman.com and austin360.com, will talk Tuesday about his experiences with twitter during this disaster experience. It was his charge that led the Austin American Statesman to adopt twitter as journalistic tool, which has now found a permanent home on page two of the daily edition.
While it may seem unconventional and a bit odd to receive your breaking news in 140 character bursts, this talk will prove to be an interesting insight to trends in new media and the internet’s crucial role in breaking new ground.
The talk will take place Tuesday October 21 at 11 a.m. in Old Main room 320.