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Twitter as super-fast news network: Get over yourself!

Regarding the new API from The Guardian (which looks rather neat), one of my friends Twittered this:

“Twitter fastest with the news, even in their building. Reading about the product online before they’ve announced it in the room!”

At which point, to my shame, I lost my Twitter-temper:

“Oh yawn. Can we not just get over the “fastest with the news” thing? Who gives a shit?”

Now in fact, my friend was joking – but I didn’t get the joke, mainly because I’m a humourless git I’ve heard the same thing said completely seriously far too often. Every news event, no matter how serious or trivial, seems to get as many Twitter posts saying “Wow, Twitters way ahead of mainstream media again!” as you get proper information.

Seriously, people need to get over themselves. It matters not one jot whether I hear about some new toy five minutes before people not on Twitter. In fact, for 99.9% of world events – even the huge, serious ones – it makes absolutely zero difference to me if I find out about it the day after. And, unless you’re actually a news journalist who makes a living from “the now”, it almost certainly matters not one jot too.

Of course, if I read about it the day after, I’m likely to get some actual real information (rather than “breaking news” retweets) and some critical and interesting perspective. That is far more valuable to me than instant “news” in less than 140 characters.

And, if you came to this post from the link I’ve posted to Twitter – haven’t you got anything more important to do with your life right this minute? Did you really need to read this right now?

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  • spaceboy


  • http://www.technovia.co.uk ianbetteridge

    LOSER! :)

  • http://www.10goto10.org Jacob Davies

    As someone who crawled out of bed at about 11am PDT on the morning of 9/11 only to find that I had “missed everything” – in other words, missed the trauma of watching the second plane hit on live television, missed the trama of watching people jump to their deaths on live television, missed the trauma of watching, live, first one building and then the other collapse with thousands of people alive – well, all I can say is, I concur.