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Twitter comes into its own at the G20

March 28, 2009

What is twitter for?

I have always been perplexed by twitter. I have had an account for sometime, but only recently started using it. After all, what’s it for, really? What do you post? Why would anyone care? Who do you follow?

This morning, though, I am really beginning to understand its utility. There are massive protests and demonstrations planned in London for the G20, today and over the next few days. Organisers are expecting the biggest turnout since the protests against the Iraq war, police have been warning of chaos, bank workers are dressing down and Lloyds and HBOS are closing their branches for the day.

And a whole lot of the righteaous folks I follow on twitter are on the demonstration. I am getting blow by blow updates, with pictures, like this:


ageofstupid
: It transpires that the tube isn’t designed for carrying 2 metre giant countdown clocks to climate justice rallies.

RedPeppermag:Spotted: “Polite Notice: Elderly peaceful protester. Please handle with care

RedPeppermag: Walking with Belgian steelworkers on Emankment. Union workers from all over Europe here. G20 week has begun

I am clearly not the only one:

taghioff: This is the first time I have followed a demonstration as it unfolds via Twitter. And from the other side of the world, on a train… #G20

This is raw news, unmediated, as it happens – and this is important, given the state of the media as pointed out in Nick Davies’ excellent Flat Earth News.

The fact that I can pick up these messages on my BlackBerry makes me feel involved, where ever I am, and on my laptop I have twitter integrated into Gnome Do (on Linux) so that I get notifications flashed on the screen as they come in. It’s really quite exciting! Twitter has never been this busy for me.

As for twitter, you can follow me here, if you’re interested.

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