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Danny Sullivan's Twitter list about Watertown (twitter.com)
47 points by pg on Apr 19, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

The Reddit/Twitter/Social Media aspect of this entire series of events is truly unprecedented. It's truly amazing to see how the Internet has enabled a constant, real-time stream of information from thousands of sources to be analyzed, commented on, shared, sent in to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for leads, and etc. Truly something special and never before seen.

I wonder how many people who absolutely detest the gap-filling vacuity of 24-hour news channels are glued to tweets and tabs following live comments, Twitter lists, police scanners and the like right now?

I know I'm in that category.

Agreed 100%. I watched CNN for 15 minutes and they literally kept looping the same 15-second clip of police running down a street with guns drawn.

On the other hand, you had a thriving community of Reddit/HN/Twitter users, live scanner and BPD radio feeds, you can stream CBS Boston (local station 10x better than CNN) and a variety of other real-time (accurate) information.

This entire ordeal from Monday's incident to the community working together to pinpoint the suspects to today's manhunt at MIT will go down in history as a pivotal moment in the crowdsourced news movement.

What makes it so different? Is it the slow pace of 24-hour news? The repetition? That you have to endure talking heads who don't actually add value to the information presented?

I think the repetition and the talking heads don't have to be a bad thing, it's just that the news outlets mix their presentation styles.

Business/Sports have already been broken out into their own channels by most outlets, due to different viewer demographics, which is also nice because they have very different presentation styles. News outlets also need to figure out what they're doing on their main channel, or break it up further.

* Are they delivering summaries of today's important events around the world like a nightly news program? If so most viewers will watch for one cycle, and you can deliver them a high quality, well produced report.

* Are they focusing on a 'live' breaking news event? If so maybe they should just be silent and listen to the police scanners, with occasional narration. Every 15 mins you could give an update "this is what we know so far" for people just tuning in.

* Are they doing the whole talking-head thing where experts/politicians are being interviewed and debates are happening? If so you could have 30-60 minutes per topic for today's news.

IMHO, all of these are best suited with different presentation styles... news presenter vs narrator vs debate moderator. Unfortunately they're trying to do all three, which just doesn't work.

The difference is, 24 hours news media covers news 24 hours a day. There's a lot of that time when there really just is no news to speak of. Social media might cover an event in real time with people glued to the screen, but we only see this type of occurrence when there's actually a significant event going on. This story might be covered by social news for days or hours, but when it's done everyone shuts it off and goes on with their lives until the next story. Meanwhile the 24 hour news media continues rolling, irrelevant as always.

Real time news isn't bad. Real time, 24 hour "news" is bad. That's how you get manufactured news stories, or media outlets creating/becoming the news.

This one has same + more members (mostly on-scene): https://twitter.com/meetmarshall10/boston-tweeps

This link from that stream is interesting, http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=28147498...

It is an article talking about a kid who went missing a month ago who is thought to be one of the suspects.

actually posited on reddit, http://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comments/1cn9ga/is_missing_st... a day ago - well before his name was released over the police scanners.

Your link points to Reddit, which points to a Twitter user, but when that Twitter user is asked how he knows, he says it was on Reddit.

I'm now completely convinced that story is total fucking bullshit.

There are current reports that the suspects are Chechyan, not the missing guy. Way too early to know who they are, even for the police.


He beat the announcement by single digit hours (5-6), not a whole day. Still, an impressive guess.

Great use of lists. News sites curate social media as it happens with their stories. It would be great if individuals on Twitter could do this. Curate tweets around a hashtag.

Agreed 100%

Never really used Twitter lists before but this one shows the true capability of having an aggregate list of important information on what is turning out to be chaos in the Watertown area.

Is it possible/likely that the marathon bombers were spotted planting bombs on campus at MIT and killed the cop that tried to stop them? If so, his effort and sacrifice may have saved many more casualties.

Do you have any reason to think this?

Edit: Have now read that the officer (presumably the original, now deceased) was responding to a 7-11 robbery or shot in his car when searching for the robbers.

pg, check out this one: https://twitter.com/AKitz

friend of mine who had a first hand account of the standoff

The Boston police ask that your friend not tweet street addresses.

Link doesn't work on iPad.

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