Twitter making a difference
I don't seem to write much about things without throwing Twitter into the topic line -- I'll work on that since there are SO many interesting developments and discussions that I'm involved in these days as we try to create a new future for journalism. But first I need to mention my pet project that reaches its conclusion tomorrow night: The worldwide Twestival celebration. (The image above shows a map with many locations for the event) Here's a little bit about what it's all about:
I jumped into this project to try and have a productive reason for Twitter users who live around Columbia, MO to get together. I announced it over Twitter and eventually on Facebook as well. We could have as few as 25 people in attendance (27 if you count my two children who will attend with us) and as many as 50. The location was donated, the food, fun stuff like a projector and screen, music and a Wii. It will be fun. The whole point is to raise money for charity:water. I didn't know much about this organization until I helped put this event together with the Twestival organizers. Each location got its own blog and support in setting up services that help you collect funding. Services like Amiano and TipJoy. These are tools I would have never known about without joining this experience. We plan to have a webcam up so you can see the fun from the LiveEarth site. Many people will tweet the event using the #CoMoTwestival hashtag. I hope to take pictures if I can.
I participated in the twitter chatter behind Poynter's NewsU introduction to Twitter for journalists. They created a wonderful page that explains Twitter for Journalists. I hope newbies will check it out. There's also a really nice collection of links on this delicious page. With all of this talk about Twitter, I recently set up a date to give an introduction of twitter to the general journalism school: March 2. I've had so many people interested in this tool, I hope I can break through the stoic disbelief and really show how it can be helpful for journalists. Tomorrow I'm certain it will show that it can make a difference and reach the Twestival organizers' goal of raising $1 million. News events like Mumbai and the Hudson River Crash should help prove it as a useful journalistic tool. (By the way - here's my first post on Twitter to prove that I've been obsessed about this stuff for a while)