Northern Voice 2009 Speaker Submission: Examining Twitter’s Impact on News Media

artwork by basco5I’ll be making my way to Vancouver once again this February for Northern Voice – Canada’s blogging and social media conference. I’ve attended every year since the event started in 2005, with varying levels of participation. In that first year, I was on a media panel. In 2006 and 2007, I did some recording and podcasting of the sessions. And last year, I was just a regular attendee. This year, I’d like to throw my hat in the ring to be a speaker. What would I like to talk about? Why, Twitter of course!

The deadline for speaker submissions is Friday. My intent with this post is to get some feedback – do you think what I’m pitching here would be an interesting and worthwhile session? Here’s what I’m thinking:

Examining Twitter’s Impact on News Media

Whether you “get it” or not, Twitter has changed news media forever. The microblogging service continues its push into the mainstream, and is wreaking all kinds of havoc along the way!

In this session we’re going to see how Twitter is impacting news media around the world. We’ll take a look at some notable examples from 2008, with particular focus placed on the American and Canadian political events. We’ll see why Twitter is the best place for breaking news, and how large news media organizations are starting to take advantage of the service – both for broadcasting and listening.

Local news is also being greatly affected by Twitter. We’ll examine one Canadian city in particular, Edmonton, to see how Twitter is used throughout the month of January 2009. Using data retrieved primarily from Twitter Search, we’ll examine the statistics (such as number of tweets posted, what time of day is most active, etc.) to identify trends and to help us correlate tweets with the local events and news of the month.

Finally, we’ll quickly examine how Twitter’s impact on news media translates to other industries – no one is safe!

I’d love to hear any comments or feedback you might have, as well as any suggestions on how to improve the session. Leave a comment below, or email me if that’s more your thing. I’d also encourage you to keep an eye on the Northern Voice site for updates! Thank you in advance!

11 thoughts on “Northern Voice 2009 Speaker Submission: Examining Twitter’s Impact on News Media

  1. This sounds like a very interesting session. I’m quite new to Twitter but it’s quickly become a large source of my local and national news. The night of the meteor there were tweets almost instantly after it happened. Had it been a slightly longer event I might have actually seen it thanks to Twitter! It’s amazing how fast information spreads on there.

    I think it would be interesting to have a look at a single tweet (say someone announcing an event) and trace the path it makes through Twitter. What can users do to spread news faster and increase their chances of receiving it?

    Good luck with your submission, Mack!

  2. So far so good.

    Another topic you may wish to talk about is how news gets disseminated, rightly or wrongly.

    I remember reading a Twittering re. the events that unfolded in India & how a lot of the Twittering was indeed untrue & actually created more unrest/havoc.

  3. Your submission is a great idea. Twitter is amazingly good for immediate information streaming. I found your twitter stream (and others) to ‘keep in touch’ with Edmonton from afar.

    It’s interesting, too, how “media” is being redefined. I felt I needed to lock down my stream when the Yahoo! layoffs hit and mainstream media was picking up and quoting twitter comments as the layoffs happened. Colleagues/friends of mine were quoted from their twitter streams when they weren’t purposely making public statements.

  4. Good Idea. How can context be appended to Twitter to enhance its’ effectiveness,as a news gathering and reporting application.

    A river of reportage without context is not news. That was the issue with Twitter,on Mumbai.

    What do you think Mac?

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