<< by on June 26th, 2009
Good news travels fast; bad news even faster. This has been the standard for quite some time now… With the skyrocketing growth of social media, are the standards swiftly becoming even more refined? The trends of late involve citizens discovering breaking news via their Twitter or Facebook accounts, instead of their local news or CNN. Think back to earlier this week… several huge bouts of breaking news were released. A lot of the news broke out during the middle of the workday, and unless you have a TV in your office, you may not have had any way of finding out until you got home that evening. Since we have recently emerged into the realm of social media, this is no longer the case.
Twitter and Facebook status updates this week have been amassed with flurry of quotes, links to videos, or just reminiscence of their youth during the reign of the late celebrities Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson. Most people I have talked to have given credit to one of these networking sites as being the channel where they first heard the news about the D.C. Metro accident, and the same goes for the recent celebrity deaths. I don’t think that the buzz coming from social media is taking anything away from national broadcasters, it’s actually advocating the spreading of news faster, and over a broader area. Even if you weren’t looking for the breaking news, it was thrown at you on your Twitter feed. The status updates on these various sites sparked interest among friends and followers, and then people flocked to their TV’s or computers to get official details.
News via Twitter. When people tweet about the news, they typically give a blurb of information, or their personal opinion, followed by a link to an article where more details can be found. This is a great strategy when posting about breaking news, because it establishes credibility, and keeps the user moving in their search for information. They see the tweet, follow the link that was inserted in the post, read the information themselves, then they may post an original tweet, or RT (retweet) the initial tweet that gave them the information. [A few great accounts to follow for breaking news >> @BreakingNews, @cnn, & @cnnbrk]
News via Facebook. My experience with the wave of Michael Jackson news the past 24 hours has been pretty intense on Facebook. Some posts were short, something along the lines of “R.I.P. MJ,” but the overwhelming majority included classic MJ song lyrics. There didn’t seem to be as many links to news sources as Twitter, and today, more and more posts have turned into jokes, and resurfacing past news that negatively portrayed the pop legend. Today, there have been dozens of “stories” on my Facebook home page devoted to quizzes related to Michael Jackson. The most popular being: “What Michael Jackson Song Are You?”
Now that it’s the day after, the number of tweets and posts relating to MJ has dramatically decreased, and people have become more daring and insensitive with their comments. Some are still showing their respects, but others, like the infamous Perez Hilton aren’t being quite so considerate in their commentary. For Perez, this has resulted in a movement of MJ fans to unfollow him on Twitter because of insensitive blogging.
How did you find out about all of the breaking news from this week? Was it from Twitter, or your television? What are your thoughts on how social media is effecting the swift spreading of news?