Avoiding for a moment the predictable “Twitter is silly and vain”; “Oh no it isn’t!” debate that seems to be doing the link-baiting rounds in the UK at the moment, this interesting take on the topic from the Counter Terrorism blog offers something different to the debate.
“One argument regarding the long-term use of Twitter, in the National Security space at least, is that Twitter in conjunction with other tools, continues the trend of making ordinary citizens active producers of potentially actionable intelligence.”
It’s an interesting experiment but in its own way seems to miss the point in the same way as those ‘Twitter is for obsessed celebs’ pieces.
The tweets Jones describes have all been created from an automated feed. He says:” If users join Twitter they can chose to ‘follow’ the In_Terrain feed and receive the same information and potentially reply to specific tweets they find interesting – thus creating the ‘conversation’ Twitter, desires. Similarly, if other security and intelligence focused twitter feeds become apparent the In_Terrain twitter feed can ‘follow’ those conversations – thus beginning the network effect.”
All well and good but will anyone from the security services actually be entering this conversation? It smacks of using Twitter as a one-way distribution channel – an output and a listening post but little real engagement. I shall follow and find out more.
Meanwhile back to that Times piece (which meant I left my usual copy of the ST on the newsagent shelf this morning because I really couldn’t be bothered), A load of Twitter.
But as is the norm now for this type of article, the writer fails to ask any of the experts who find Twitter so useful what they think.
Perhaps the author of this week’s other big online debate (and his own misfortune), the NUJ’s Chris Wheal could have a word when he’s finished bashing bloggers for their low standards.
After all doesn’t representing both sides of a story count as a core journalistic skill?