Friday, January 08, 2010

Twitter Killed Jyoti Basu


Let me assure you, Comrade Basu is still alive. He is extending his life as he did with his regime in West Bengal. But Twitter and its Twitterites killed him about two days back!

Clay Shirky rightly described this phenomenon in his book – Here Comes Everybody. The emergence of Web 2.0 has transformed internet from one-way lane to a two-way chaotic highway. Web 2.0 tools and applications empower every wanting user to create and distribute information in a way that was unimaginable in the past. The coinage information-overload falls too short to describe the current situation.

Twitter, in my opinion, has become the most active real-time news medium.

It was very interesting that 140 character obituaries were being written while the man was ‘dying’ (as Sagarika Ghosh’s tweet said). Well, I, too, mourned in a hurry. But was quick to google (another contribution of internet age as now the word has been recorded as a verb) and found that no such news was floating on the web. The news alerts only said that he was ‘dying’. It is two days, now, and comrade is still ‘dying’. Not that I want that poor old legend to die.

There is a joke that you must have heard about the authentic and credible The Hindu. It is rumored that the publication house would send their own doctors to verify before they print obituaries. Well, it does sound funny, but it is journalism. Investigate, ratify and, only then, publish. Oh, of course, don’t be biased.

While it is good for the Barack Obama and Shashi Tharoor to tweet and connect with masses, I doubt whether they will or should use it as a medium for official communication.

Just wondering, if, Obama will tweendor (Tweet-Wonder) about increasing troops in Afghanistan or remove embargos slapped on Cuba. Or will he discuss or brainstorm with the think-tank and advisors. Mr. Tharoor, on the other hand, will most likely Tweenicate (Twitter communicate) and leak every disagreement that he has in his ministry with the ‘cattle class’ in Twinderland (of course, Twitter Wonderland).

I am wondering that democratization of journalism might actually create a very chaotic information board for us. But after the ripples, the waves calm down. I am sure the chaos will prevail for some more time. Then consolidation has to happen.

Twitter has already become source, inspiration, distribution and interactive channel for media. Will Twitterites become the future journalists and Twitter the media!
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