The vandals took the handle

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How Twitter is changing the way we live

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As the use of Twitter continues to grow at astounding speed, the micro blogger is also quickly entwining itself into our very way of life because of its real time operation.

Times journalist, Steven Johnson, recently gave a fascinating example.  

“Earlier this year I attended a daylong conference in Manhattan devoted to education reform.  Twenty years ago, the ideas exchanged in that conversation would have been confined to the minds of the participants. Ten years ago, a transcript might have been published weeks or months later on the Web. Five years ago, a handful of participants might have blogged about their experiences after the fact or added thoughts to their Facebook page.

But this event was happening in 2009, so right alongside behind the real-time, real-world conversation was an equally real-time conversation on Twitter. Our hosts announced that anyone who wanted to post live commentary about the event via Twitter should include the word #hackedu in his 140 characters. In the room, a large display screen showed a running feed of tweets. 

At first, all these tweets came from inside the room and were created exclusively by conference participants tapping away on their laptops, iphones or BlackBerrys. But within half an hour or so, word began to seep out into the Twittersphere that an interesting conversation about the future of schools was happening at #hackedu.

A few tweets appeared on the screen from strangers announcing that they were following the #hackedu thread.  Back in the room, we pulled interesting ideas and questions from the screen and integrated them into our face-to-face conversation.

When the conference wrapped up at the end of the day, there was a public record of hundreds of tweets. And the conversation continued — if you search Twitter for #hackedu, you’ll find dozens of new comments posted over the past few weeks

Injecting Twitter into that conversation fundamentally changed the rules of engagement. It added a second layer of discussion and brought a wider audience into what would have been a private exchange. And it gave the event an afterlife on the Web.

Yes, it was built entirely out of 140-character messages, but the sum total of those tweets added up to something truly substantive, like a suspension bridge made of pebbles.”


Written by ianandsue

June 4, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Ya, its true about twitter. Just now our friends where talking whats new and why everyone get attracted of twitter. Now, u have cleared the chat topic by your article.


    June 12, 2009 at 7:36 am

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