Twitter is Weird

I attended the Town Hall Meeting in Van Munching and it was a great discussion. I'm glad I got the opportunity to sit and listen. Some topics of interest were the youth vote, race's role in the election, a "post-racial" society, and Obama's use of technology throughout the race.

Yet, I found Twitter to be a little weird. I posted a great deal throughout the hour I was there, but after a while, I noticed my posts weren't being shown in the main discussion. I'm not sure why that happened. (It made me wonder if my blogs were inappropriate or blocked or something of that nature.) This bothered me; I didn't want to keep posting once I realized no one could see my posts in the main discussion.

If there was something I missed or didn't catch, Twitter respondents immediately posted. This was helpful. However, some of the posts contained wrong information and misspelling of names (something that really bugs me). If journalists use Twitter on a regular basis, does this mean that accurate reporting will go out the window?

Any thoughts? Should journalists use Twitter?


Chris Harvey said...

Nina, when I go to the Twitter search page and type in the slug for this thread, I see your comments with all the others.

But I agree with you that many of the comments, as written, are incoherent and contain inaccuracies, including misspelled names. It would have been nice to see some attribution preceding each of the comments, as this poster did: Advice to Obama? Walters: Don't forget the poor people.

Those interested can find the comments by going here:
and typing:

Michelle Lee said...

Though I didn't go to the Twitter discussion, after looking at the comments at http://search.twitter.com/ (#ElectionWrap) I can't agree with journalists using Twitter on a regular basis.

Several of the posts were gramatically incorrect, included spelling errors or just didn't make any sense!

It's hard to separate the credible opinions from the rants because of minor errors like these. So my first impression of Twitter: I'm not very impressed.

Katie Shutt said...

I agree that using Twitter as a reporting tool may not always be very useful, especially if it's illegible and has a lot of mistakes.

But I think there's an adaptation of reporting that regular citizens can do that works well with Twitter.

For example, as you can see the following linked article was posted on The Baltimore Sun's Web site on Election Day.


It gives a link for readers to be see #votereports, where people could tweet on wait time in lines at specific polling places. I think that is a very good use of Twitter.

I also found The Baltimore Sun's Twitter page, where I found mostly traffic updates, another good use of the medium.

So as professional journalists, Twitter might not be particularly useful, but as citizen reporters and readers, I think it is.