The Best–and Worst–of Twitter

Written by Scott

Topics: Uncategorized

Twitter came of age the past few days. Not hyperbole, I believe, but during the crisis of our four slain police officers and the ensuing manhunt, Twitter was used by citizens, news organizations, and some public agencies to effectively disseminate information in a new and very effective way.

Some were very effective–others less so, including one public entity that I plan on calling out once I obtain an official copy of their policy regarding twitter use.

But for the ones that were highly effective, and who seemed to “get” social media, I want to give kudos:
News organizations (no particular order): Seattle Times, KING5, KOMO (multiple people were active, but big shout-out to Travis Mayfield)
Public organizations: Pierce County (highly effective use by government agency)
Companies: Forza Coffee–in particular, the CEO Brad Carpenter. In the midst of the turmoil and pain (including Forza and its employees), all Forza locations began collecting donations for the officers’ families.
Citizens: there were thousands of us active, but there is a local twitterer that I want to give credit to, since she was one of the first to get involved when the story broke, and was the first to suggest we use the #WAShooting hashtag: JavaCupcake
There are a few others I personally want to thank, who were responsible for helping spread information across the country, and even across the world: Fingertipnews (in Louisiana!) and Michelle Malkin (in DC).

But the questions begs to be asked: why these folks? What did they do with twitter that was remarkable? Here is my answer: they understood twitter. It’s more than just some way of updating your status. Social media is social, and these connected and engaged as well as disseminated information. Pierce County, for example, could have chosen not to use twitter, but they did, knowing that the more people that had information about the suspect, the better chance there was of apprehending him quicker. Not only that…they didn’t just “use” us…they thanked us at one point for our help. That’s the social aspect.

And that’s my $.03 (sorry, inflation).