Posted by: peterhact | November 29, 2010

Interpretation and twitter

Interpretation and twitter is about the people who attend conferences, webinars, lectures and events where they feel that the information is of benefit to their followers and friends on twitter. These people usually convert the spoken word into the written word, shortened by the limitations that twitter has – 140 characters, but the guts of the message is what is said, nearly word for word.

The community of twitter has many of these instances of comments or tweets being added into the “twitterverse” as it is called, and some people just sit in this environment and read the information being posted. It is almost as if you are at that event in colorado, paris, japan or melbourne. The comments let you experience what the tweeter writes – but it is still their interpretation of the spoken word, and, sometimes, it may offend some people.

The trap that befalls so many commenters on the information posted on twitter is that the posters put a spin on it. They don’t. the information is as it is heard, there is no room for fabrication, it must be as accurate as possible or the audience won’t rely on the tweeter for any further correspondence.

This year, we have seen many changes in the ICT industry, reported by posters, manufacturers and journalists. We have seen massive events in the political scene that has been tweeted to us to keep us informed. The factual content of the tweets is 99%, there hasn’t been many comments that are inaccurate, they may have misheard the source, but they are only human, after all.

What i have noticed is that this year has been the year of the breaking of the golden rule – reveal your source. Never before would a journalist reveal who their source was, they would take that information to the grave. (some were arrested for failing to reveal who their sources were) The current crop of journalists are, for the most part, trustworthy. Anything discussed off the record stayed that way.

Then, in the name of  “public interest”, a journalist revealed the name of a blog writer and tweeter, and the result? the twitterverse sent the revealed person messages that were positive. The media around the world took up the story, but didn’t close ranks behind their colleague, many of the journos I spoke to were horrified that such a trust could be broken.  And this is a trust that has been shattered.

The journalist will now find that their comments regarding important stories will not attract off the record confirmations from their sources, if they have any left. an action so simple has ramifications to the one area no journalist wants damaged, their reputation.

The damage, though, will be felt by their peers. the strong bonds of trust that they have now had broken will take years if ever to repair, but their new members of the craft will have an even harder slog to gain their own sources. Leaks and important information will  now not be surfacing as often, every day will be a slow day – news-wise and we will see the confidence in the print media dwindle in favor of anonymous posts on blogs, twitter and forums.

The twitterverse enables and empowers me to learn about events, new technology and concepts.  and this saves me time – a precious commodity these days.

I am not hiding in my tweets, my blog or any other article. want me to discuss via email? ask me for my address.

Twitter comments are open to the interpretation of the reader. They are, and always will be the opinion of the poster, but the information posted always is a translation of the speaker to the tweeter.

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