When Twitter comes into its own…

Unfortunately, an impending disaster is sometimes the impetus for naysayers to see the worth of a service like Twitter.

The hashtag being used on Twitter to track the tweets referring to Tropical Cyclone Yasi is #tcyasi. I’ve been following this hashtag today, and as the cyclone gets closer to the east coast of Far North Queensland, I am receiving more pertinent information there than what I am getting from news organisations like Channel 7 and their very sensationalist Today Tonight program. I, like many others on Twitter, was horrified to see Today Tonight using a countdown clock in the top right hand corner of the screen as they broadcast their program tonight. This is a potentially devastating climactic event, not the Olympic games.

Yes, sometimes you have to put up with some inappropriate language and some irrelevant tweets, but following a hashtag to find out  what people are sharing about something like Tropical Cyclone Yasi is one of the most effective ways I know of keeping up to date with what is really happening from a citizen journalist perspective, and from a traditional news media perspective, as evidenced from the ABC_NewsRadio tweet above.

Right now #tcyasi is a trending twitter hastag worldwide. This gives you some indication as to the number of tweets on the twitter timeline using this hashtag. I’ll be following tonight and in the coming days. You should too. As much as I hate to see something as devastating as this convert people to the benefits of a service like Twitter, it’s more likely to be the catalyst for adoption than any attempts Twitter users can make to convince people of its worth.

6 Replies to “When Twitter comes into its own…”

  1. I am starting to myself find out that twitter can be useful for staying up to date with valuable information. At first i thought it was a extremely overrated way to see when friends are doing their laundry, but now I am starting to understand it is all about who you follow. Following the right people and you can have all kinds of useful information.
    -Justin Hyde

    1. I’m glad you’re starting to see the professional learning benefits that can come from following the right people.
      Jenny : )

  2. Hey Jenny,
    I stayed up till 11:30 that night reading all the tweets regarding #tcyasi. I know you were on Twitter that time as well (I saw a tweet from you). I laughed when someone tweeted “Peter Overton, go inside #insanejournalist!” It was amazing to read some of the fear in the tweets so not only are we getting information but now we are starting to get the emotion as well.


  3. I am currently taking EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and we are exploring the advantages of twitter at this time. I will be honest, I had no idea what a hashtag was until I was informed to follow #EDM310. I am now starting to see how helpful the world of twitter will be. Before then I used it to follow friends from high school and college to keep up with them. Now I’ve had a whole world opened to me just by signing up and getting the title @christinaanngel! I love every moment of it too.

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