Fartashphoto's Blog

Outstanding usages of Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 30, 2010

Twitter emphasized their news and information network strategy in November 2009 by changing the question it asks users for status updates from “What are you doing?” to “What’s happening?”.

Use in protest and politics

In June 2009, following allegations of fraud in the Iranian presidential election, protesters used Twitter as a rallying tool and as a method of communication with the outside world after the government blocked several other modes of communication. On June 15 Twitter rescheduled a planned 90-minute maintenance outage after a number of Twitter users and the US State Department asked Twitter executives to delay the shutdown because of concerns about the service’s role as a primary communication medium by the protesters in Iran.

On April 7, 2009, thousands of young anti-communist protesters stormed the presidency and the parliament building in Chişinău, the capital of Moldova, accusing the government of electoral fraud. Information about these events was disseminated through Twitter using hashtag #pman. This hashtag came from the name of the central square in Chişinău: Piaţa Marii Adunări Naţionale. Twitter was also used to mobilize for the protests.

In Venezuela the catalyst behind most of these protests is, of course, Twitter, which anti-Chavez activists have used to organize demonstrations and to spread their cause internationally. Dissidents have also taken to Facebook, where a group titled “Chavez esta PONCHAO!” (“Chavez, you struck out!”) is already 80,000 members strong. Chavez, not surprisingly has already “launched an army of Twitter users to bring down online networks and try to infiltrate student groups.”

Use in reporting dissent

On April 10, 2008, James Buck, a graduate journalism student at University of California, Berkeley, and his translator, Mohammed Maree, were arrested in Egypt for photographing an anti-government protest. On his way to the police station Buck used his mobile phone to send the message “Arrested” to his 48 “followers” on Twitter. Those followers contacted U.C. Berkeley, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, and a number of press organizations on his behalf. Buck was able to send updates about his condition to his “followers” while being detained. He was released the next day from the Mahalla jail after the college hired a lawyer for him.

Use in emergencies

During the 2008 Mumbai attacks eyewitnesses sent an estimated 80 tweets every 5 seconds. Twitter users on the ground helped compile a list of the dead and injured. In addition, users sent out vital information such as emergency phone numbers and the location of hospitals needing blood donations. CNN called this “the day that social media appeared to come of age” since many different groups made significant use of Twitter to gather news and coordinate responses.

The Australian Country Fire Authority used Twitter to send out regular alerts and updates regarding the February 2009 Victorian bushfires. During this time the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, also used his Twitter account to send out information on the fires, how to donate money and blood, and where to seek emergency help.

Also in April, public health departments used Twitter to provide updates on H1N1 cases.

A Haitian radio host who used Twitter to inform the world about the earthquake which ravaged his country was among the users of the micro-blogging service honored at a ceremony.

“I dedicate this to my country Haiti,” said Carel Pedre after receiving a special “humanitarian” award at the second annual “Shorty Awards” in New York, an event which recognize excellence on Twitter.

“May we continue to use Twitter to save lives and change the world,” said Pedre, who “tweets” as @carelpedre.

Use to stay informed about current news and any events

Twitter is used to inform people about the news and events happening around the world. Mostly news agency outlets tweet news but that’s not a law or anything. The partial of users in these categories are also increasing.

Use in education

The Distance College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, used Twitter with native Chinese students as a tool to train communicative and cultural competence. Students had to post a certain number of English tweets and react to the tweets of their fellow students. Twitter was viewed as a supplement to practice in authentic environment different aspects of the target language as it was taught in the classroom.

The University of Vienna, Austria, used Twitter as an evaluation platform for student ratings. Every student had to send a tweet after each course unit with feedback to the teacher. Twitter turned out to be “a useful tool for evaluating a course formatively. Because of Twitter’s simple use and the electronic handling of data, the administrative effort remains small.”

Use in campaigning

Twitter was used by candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign throughout the race. Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama used it for publicity. The Nader–Gonzalez campaign updated its ballot access teams in real-time with Twitter and Google Maps. Twitter use increased by 43 percent on the day of the United States’ 2008 election.

Use in public relations

In the United States, a number of environment agencies and NGOs are on Twitter. At the local level, police and fire departments are beginning to use Twitter to keep the public informed of incidents. Some of these departments, such as the Los Angeles Fire Department, issue up to 10 tweets per day.

In October 2008, a draft U.S. Army intelligence report identified Twitter as a “potential terrorist tool”. The report said it “is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives.”

David Saranga of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that on December 30, 2008, that Israel would be the first government to hold a worldwide press conference via Twitter to take questions from the public about the war against Hamas in Gaza.

Use in space mission news

In May 2009, astronaut Mike Massimino used Twitter to send updates during the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission (STS-125), the first time Twitter was used by an astronaut in space. The STS-125 mission marked another NASA/Twitter first–a post-mission tweetup held July 21, 2009, at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., attended by about 200 members of the general public. The crew of STS-125 was on hand for answer questions.

On October 21, 2009, Nicole Stott and her Expedition 21 crewmate, Jeff Williams, participated in the first tweetup from the International Space Station with about 35 members of the public at NASA headquarters This involved the first live Twitter connection for the astronauts. Previously, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle or ISS have sent the messages they desire to share as tweets to Mission Control which then posted the messages via the Internet to Twitter.

At March16, 2010, Twitter has announced technology that it hopes will further embed the service into the fabric of the web. Another success for Twitter.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: