Twitter – Stealing the Thunder of Breaking News


    Twitter has been able to once again celebrate a spot in history as it grabbed another foothold in thew news-reporting and incident-reporting area of the web.  There is a very true realization here that news no longer ‘breaks’ around the world.  It chirps, like a little bird.
    More appropriately would be to say that news tweets.
    Social media is laying the groundwork for a new way to do things when it comes to new, a new way to see breaking stories and critical news unfold around the world.  When Sohaib Athar (@reallyvirtual) sent out a live tweet of the raid on Osama Bin Laden he showed proof that once again it’s the people around the world that are able to break news – and do it much faster than traditional media.
    Should we call it one of the biggest events in social media that Keithurbahn, and not CNN, was the first to credibly report on the death of Osama?  It may not be one of the biggest but it’s certainly up at the top of the charts.  That’s not the relevant point of all this however.  The fact is, Twitter is shining through as a bridge (an architectural wonder if you will) that covers the gap between events and reporting.
    Keeping a Finger on the Pulse of the World
    I should clarify that at no point would I consider microblogging to be Journalism, including Twitter.  It is however one of the most ideal tools for committing random and unintentional acts of journalism.  I say this because long before the president was confirming the death of Osama Bin Laden on national television, there were people around the world learning about it through Twitter.
    Social media is without a doubt shrinking the world on a global scale and it’s tying the people of the world together despite continental divides and cultural boundaries.  Social media, especially Twitter, is profoundly merging reach and the velocity at which information travels.  We have seen the benefit of leveraging social media for businesses and marketers through SYNND, and this type of news shows just how massive the reach of social media can be when properly used.
    Business aside – consider the ability to bring news to the corners of the world in just minutes using a simple and free social platform.  It’s as amazing as it is surprising.  Understanding the power of analytics and statistics, Twitter released a report shortly after the storm of tweets surrounding the Osama event, and it shows off the breathtaking volume of the human ability to reach out and share the things that deeply touch us and affect us.

    In less than 12 hours since the tweets began to spread, there were more than 2.2 million tweets from around the world centered on discussing Osama Bin Laden.  Following those were an astonishing number of blog posts in the range of forty thousand.
    Of course this is about more than just  a few minutes of fame for those who can ‘break’ (tweet) news as it happens.  Where we once rallied for freedom of speech, we know have the remarkable freedom of tweet – and that applies beyond the reach of the U.S. Constitution and our borders to encompass the world.  That’s a beautiful thing.