First the facts. 9 people died when there was an electrical fault at the carlton hotel. 9 people died. One from the smokee, 8 people who jumped to their deaths.
Lets pause and think of that. Not about how they died, thats the topic of a more cynical post, but about BEING in a situation like that.
Imagine being in this situation –
Carlton Towers is burning and six of us are trapped inside. The fire’s above but there’s smoke everywhere. Saw people jump to their death
There’s no media sensationalism, no shouting voices, no gaping onlookers.
In a burning building.
@jackerhack was there. And 140 characters later, we were there with him. At a visceral, basic, animalistic level, we KNEW what may be going on in his head.
Because it wasn’t filtered. it wasn’t manufactured. it was… Real.
I’m not going to harp on the story – it makes more sense to read about it in His words than mine. I just want to take a look at another facet.
What happened, with that one post, and then the “media frenzy”…It got me thinking. It got me really thinking again from the information percolation vs culture industry argument thats raging on in its many avtaars.
As previously posted the data tells us something simple. Twitter in india has 60 thousand current REGULAR users.Facebook has 1.2 MILLION REGULAR users. Twenty times the amount.
But then, why how does “india” not get its information from facebook, but from twitter?
So here are some obvious reasons
– Facebook is also an inward looking archive-you can be active on facebook, but still, not talkative. Twitter is nothing but broadcast. Nothing but.
– because it is only broadcast, you only get into twitter if you’re “into” broadcasting, and the experience is only good if you’re continuously tweeting (ish)
– to be continuously tweeting you a) must want to and b) be “technically skilled” enough to be able to continuously tweet (c) have a level of “connection” that facilitates continues tweeting… this implies a certain SEC…
These 60,000 people, are hence, by definition, a very very select group. THey are what i call, india’s “top 60000 communicators”. THese communicators are india’s new “culturatti” the new “influencers”. Outside the twitter-verse, any one one of them would be the most outspoken person in his group, the “go-to” guy for opinion and information. No matter which the group – a group of friends, musicians, politicians, coders… no matter what the group, these 60k are the most outspoken, and they are most likely to be placing their opinion out there -these 60K are most likely to be have the largest proportion of “bloggers” from any group, i am sure
So you have these “golden group”, spread across the country, broadcasting… and then this happens. Imagine communicating with the world through a fire. THere must have been 10 fires in india that day. Perhaps 1000 people must have died in an accident that day – why was the carlton towers “fire” which in @jackerhacks own estimate was not a very big deal, on the covers of the toi, on all the channels, at prime time?
Simple. because of 140 characters, suddenly, you were there. Without any filter.
I want to approach my questions towards @ in a different manner. No questions about fire. More about his take on information.
1. Have you ever “received” critical information of the sort you transmitted through any kind of p2p network?
2. what is your take on twitter? is it all sound and fury, or is there method to its madness?
3. Whats your take on mainstream media’s fascination with twitter?
4. What does YOUR group come to you for your opinions on?
5. Who are your “got to sources” on the web? (fave blogs, sights, people to follow)
Glad you and your loved ones made it out there safe and sound.