The Rise of Twitter

Posted on October 30, 2009. Filed under: media, Twitter |

While just 14 per cent of the general population are regular Twitterers, the collective speed and force of their tweets has proved more powerful than established media in recent weeks. It was the Twitterati that launched an all out attack on Jan Moir’s distasteful article on the death of Stephen Gately and helped the Guardian trump the ‘super injunction’ and bring Triafagura’s deceit to light.

Meanwhile, organisations such as Wikileak, Digiactive and Engagemedia are helping the public mobilise strategic online campaigns with significant consequences.

Increasingly, Twitter is becoming a subject of the news and an agenda-setter in its own right. Gone are the days when the morning newspaper could dictate the days news agenda, and  as Emily Bell pointed out, it was failure to realise this that landed Moir in such trouble. Putting vehement words in the inflexibility and permanency of print is now like playing all your cards at once, only to stand by as others play long into the night without you. There is no entry point for the print journalist into the rapid exchange of ideas which swarm and morph almost as soon as the paper comes off the press. Of course many journalists are now avid Twitter users and most publish online, but increasingly it is the collective force of comments, lead by high-profile thinkers such as Stephen Fry that have the upper hand.

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