Over the course of the last couple of months, I have unfortunately become quite addicted to micro-blogging site Twitter. I am constantly suprised by Twitter, not just in terms of its uptake, but also in terms of its functionality and usability, not just in a pure financial sense but also in terms of context.
Last night was just such a night. Whilst a lot of noise has been made of Twitter from a networking perspective, Twitter from a thought leadership perspective, it was last night that I saw Twitter as a citizen journalist tool. Its not the first time to be honest. When the plane recently went into the Hudson River, there was a post on Twitter within minutes of it happening.
Last night was similar. In the early hours of Friday morning (UK wise anyhow), a story started doing the rounds regarding Martin Schaedel (@martin), a well respected person within the Silicon Valley community had died in a plane crash in Santa Monica. People like @btabke (Brett Tabke) @Jenstar Jennifer Slegg)( and @DannySullivan (Danny Sullivan) posted a number of comments relating to the crash over the course of a three hour period or so, keeping many people in the loop as to proceedings. A live stream of condolenses has been building within Twitter, many from prominent internet and search marketing individuals.
Whilst in the grand scheme of things this was a fairly small incident, from a personal perspective it has opened my eyes as to the power of Twitter from this sort of perspective, particularly when you combine services such as Twitpic to the whole Twitter mix. All of the sudden you have a real-time, interactive overview of breaking news in some cases from a 1st person perspective. How many other communication channels can do that….