Gelf Magazine - Looking over the overlooked

« Yes Man: Like Liar Liar but Worse

The Gelflog

Tracking Trends »

Internet

December 23, 2008

The Twitter Echo Chamber

Recently, Mike Wilson garnered his 15 million pageviews of internet fame when he chronicled his exit from a burning airplane on the social microblogging site Twitter. If there’s anything Twitterers love to tweet about it's Twitter itself, and so Wilson’s act of citizen journalism (because other journalists aren’t citizens?) was replayed and retweeted ad infinitum, creating an echo chamber of self-congratulations. The mainstream press, for its part, was unsure how to react to this development and possible threat.


2drinksbehind Twitter

Mike Wilson's Twitter icon.


Some highlighted the Twitter aspect of the story, some ignored it, and the AP, somehow, did both. Below, Gelf presents our Twitter-style account of the event and the reaction to it in reverse chronological order.


(For those unfamiliar with Twitter conventions, check out Gelf’s introduction to the medium. Hint: You might want to start at the bottom.)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wilson boosts followers, MSM explains microblogging to public, AP is dumbstruck, and oh yeah, investigators look for cause of accident 8:01 PM Dec 22nd from web

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@AP, if NBC, Fox News, and others tracked him down, it couldn’t have been too hard 7:28 PM Dec 22nd from web

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AP National Desk Editor Jeff McMillan tells Gelf "We couldn’t verify that [Wilson] was who he said he was, so we stopped running the quote" 6:43 PM Dec 22nd from phone

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wilsons fame grows. Gets interviewed by broadcast tv http://tinyurl.com/8n4chw, tweets about it. 10:43 AM Dec 22nd from NBC Nightly News

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AP pulls Wilson’s quote and the reference and link to twitter, doesn’t say why 11:59 PM Dec 21st from AP

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@twitterverse kind of annoying when people think the biggest news about a story is that twitter broke it, ie http://tinyurl.com/5g3pk2 9:44 PM Dec 21st from web

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Twitterverse loves the mainstream recognition. Pats self on back. 5:12 PM Dec 21th from twitterrific

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Media sees relevance in the fact that story broke on twitter http://tinyurl.com/8ahcf2, AP quotes Wilson and links to his page 11:09 AM Dec 21st from MSM

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@2drinksbehind Well done, Mike. You used twitter to share important breaking news as well as your drink of choice. Vodka tonics :-) 9:17 PM Dec 20th from web

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike Wilson twitters his escape from a burning airplane in Denver http://tinyurl.com/6wnodu 8:25 PM Dec 20th from twitterrific







Post a comment

Comment Rules

The following HTML is allowed in comments:
Bold: <b>Text</b>
Italic: <i>Text</i>
Link:
<a href="URL">Text</a>

Comments


About Gelflog

The Gelflog brings you all the same sports, media & world coverage you’ve come to love from Gelf Magazine, but shorter and faster. If you’d like, subscribe to the Gelflog feed.

Recently Posted

RSSSubscribe to the Gelflog RSS

Newsletter

Hate to miss out? Enter your email for occasional Gelf news flashes.

Merch

Gelf t-shirt

The picture is on the front of the shirt, the words are on the back. You can be in between.