Much discussion about the role of Twitter in reporting on the recent Mumbai attacks.
Forbes.com reports: Mumbai: Twitter's Moment
Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC puts some perspective around the more outrageous claims for Twitter in Twitter - the Mumbai Myths.
Jeremiah - posts on how Twitter and other channels need to be incorporated into crisis management planning in How Municipalities Should Integrate Social Media into Disaster Planning.
Personally, I'm a bit uncomfortable with how Twitter responds in these situations.
- Because I'm amazed at how easily people present rumour as fact. It must be a genetic disposition. In the same way that I'm amazed people open unidentified file attachments, or respond to obvious phishing scams etc.
- Because boring old media (or is that more precisely old school journalistic training) still has a few vital points going for it. Checking sources and facts before publishing, for example.
- Because there's a Twitter equivalent of rubber necking that takes place around these disasters. It's a thin line between informing and voyeurism, one that's very difficult to tread safely. There's a bit too much breathless OMG style posting for my liking, which is fine for trivia but doesn't sit well with serious events.
- Because all those ReTweets become so repetitive. If James Governor, or Scoble, or Jeremiah tweets something, I'm pretty sure I don't need to amplify it.
In terms of social media, Twitter is a strange one. Overall I think Twitter has momentum (within some pretty narrow audience confines) but I never quite feel it has really taken root. I use Twitter a lot but don't see myself as particularly loyal to it.
Tags: Forbes.com, Rory Cellan-Jones, Jeremiah Owyang