Shirky: Unlike Traditional Media, Twitter Creates Empathy : All Tech ConsideredTED has a great Q&A with New York University professor Clay Shirky. He drops this insightful snippet about Twitter and its role in Iran, right now.
TED has a great Q&A with New York University professor Clay Shirky. He drops this insightful snippet about Twitter and its role in Iran, right now.
I've been saying this for a while — as a medium gets faster, it gets more emotional. We feel faster than we think. But Twitter is also just a much more personal medium. Reading personal messages from individuals on the ground prompts a whole other sense of involvement. We're seeing everyone desperate to do something to show solidarity like wear green — and suddenly the community figures out that it can actually offer secure web proxies, or persuade Twitter to delay an engineering upgrade — we can help keep the medium open.
When I see John Perry Barlow setting himself up as a router, he's not performing these services as a journalist. He's engaged. Traditional media operates as source of inofrmation not as a means of coordination. It can't do more than make us sympathize. Twitter makes us empathize. It makes us part of it. Even if it's just retweeting, you're aiding the goal that dissidents have always sought: the awareness that the ouside [sic] world is paying attention is really valuable.