Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Twitter Tuesday - The Saga Bin Laden

I'm not the biggest twitterer out there.  I'm barely on and I can rarely manage tweeting something I'm interested in typing much less something someone else is interested in reading.

But social networks sites can be useful.  They have the immediacy of being on the pulse of the public, so when something happens, everyone knows about it. And that's what happened with the news of Osama Bin Laden's death.

I just so happened to be on Twitter Sunday night shortly after 10pm.  Now if you're unfamiliar with Twitter, Touré is an awesome person to follow.  He will fill up your timeline.  25% of his tweets are entertaining, another 25% are informative.  The other 50% are broken up into bragging/name dropping and garbage.  But for someone on twitter who's as prolific a tweeter as he his, 50% is solid

Anyway, he pops up on my timeline referencing Obama's making a speech tonight, coincidently during the last half hour of his arch nemesis' Celebrity Apprentice.  Naturally everyone on twitter tries to put the "wit" in "twitter" so everyone is cracking jokes about The Donald and Obama.

And at this point the tone on Twitter is bordering on nervousness.  The POTUS addressing the nation is serious.  And there's rumblings about it concerning national security.  Some people are worried, but most are cracking jokes to deal with the tension.
But then Touré tweets something interesting.

Sandwiched between a joke and a quote from MSNBC is essentially where the story of Osama Bin Laden's death broke on Twitter, before the intended 10:30pm start time of Obama's national address.

And at this point it's really nutty to literally see the information get disseminated across Twitter.  While some people are still tweeting jokes about The Donald and Obama, others are tweeting quotes from sources about Osama's death and others are complaining about Obama being late for his 10:30 start time.  Then everyone gets on the same page; the address is about Osama's death.

With the cat out of the bag the dialogue turns again.  At this point there are essentially three major groups tweeting; the people who "reporting" the story for twitter, the people who are joking about it and the people who are reacting to the news.

The last group of people reacting to the news can be broken down further into three distinct groups; those who have never felt more patriotic in their life, those who want to do things to the corpse and a relatively small minority who don't know how to feel about the news.

And it was really dope to be on Twitter to experience all that.  Seriously.  Touré basically sticks to reporting the story but you had F&S favorite Solange Knowles who was conflicted.

Lupe Fiasco's tweet was short, pointed and spoke volumes about him.

You also had friend of F&S Aliya S King who proved to be pretty thoughtful.

Harry Allen did his best to keep things light.

Notable douchebag Questlove found the time to be suspect of the goings on.

While Rob Liefeld forced trying to be funny and came off as foolish as anyone familiar with him would have expected him to be.

And those are just the most memorable tweets, the ones that stuck out in my mind. Other people echoed those sentiments or had stronger emotions, like Dream Hampton.

Of course there were the jokes that everyone thought they were the first to think of.  There were so many tweets with variations of "death certificate" and "Donald Trump" that the joke was old before Obama started his speech.

Even Deepak Chopra got in on the action.

And because Obama began his speech nearly an hour after he was scheduled to, "CPT" tweets were equally rampant.

And, as would be expected given his infamy, many people offered up their thoughts on what should have been done with Bin Laden's corpse.  A frequent theme was urination.

Over the course of the night interesting tidbits came out.  The fact that Hitler and Bin Laden's deaths were announced on the same day had an eerie vibe to it.  And the news that the New York Times obit writer who worked on Bin Laden's obit had died last year was weird and sad.  Again, this information spread virally via twitter.

Being on Twitter and watching it unfold, from the sidelines, it was really a testament to the power of social network sites.  Watching the information spread and people react to it, in real time, was a trip.  It was like watching a game of telephone happen, but with dozens of participants.

I don't know if I'm completely sold on the entire movement, but in instances like that, I'm glad to have it around and have an active account.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I had to depend on Twitter entirely that night because my cable was out. I learned everything that happened from Twitter.
    The weird thing. When 9-11 happened, I engaged with people in person. I left my house, talked to neighbors, got on the phone, etc. But with this, it was all Twitter. I wonder how many more big moments will be captured online instead of IRL.



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