Twitter, you spoiler.
I’ve been caught up in the faux buzz Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have created on their respective Comedy Central shows all week. What would Stewart’s big announcement be? And, Colbert’s counter-announcement? Well, this morning before I streamed Thursday’s episodes, I checked my Twitter feed @CloudDream2002. That ruined the surprise.
In addition to the Twitterers related to the show, the announcement was heralded by news organizations and media. I checked hashtags related to the rallies and learned pretty much all the details I need to know before I watched the show. People were meeting up and making travel plans. Airlines were taking advantage of the situation and posting low fares to Washington. There was decent “buzz.”
So, I suppose if you consider these two fake newscasters to be celebrities, I fall into the trap Shepherd hates so much: prizing celebrity over political speech. This case also proves true Shepherd’s remark that Twitter is public relations tool for celebrities more than a way for non-famous users to have their voices heard.
Until now, I had only used my Twitter feed as a journalistic tool. (Seriously, check my history of tweets.) So for this assignment I started following a bunch of news organizations. There’s Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post and Reuters. There’s my old employers: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Butler (Pa.) Eagle. There is also a variety of side interests, like the Steelers and my favorite beverages.
My ability to follow my feed was severely impeded this week after a vicious burglar stole all my electronic equipment from my car. Nevertheless, I checked my feed from a computer multiple times this week to analyze content. Sure there was the mention of celebrities by news organizations when Sasha Baron Cohen announced he would play Freddie Mercury, but in general I learned a lot about the political world. The only time I read more than a headline about the Pope’s visit to the U.K. was prompted by a post. Tea Party news was abundant Tuesday night into Wednesday. And, the election analysis stories were linked to posts everywhere by Thursday.
I would agree with Shepherd that The End of Geography isn’t here yet, especially in my case. The BBC is the most foreign of the Twitterers I follow. However, I think my geo-centric feed is more explained by personal interests than by the “turn within” effect.
Oh, and I learned how to uncork a wine bottle with a shoe while on a picnic. I wonder how Shepherd would judge that bit of knowledge taking up valuable space on my feed.