Saturday, September 11, 2010

Great example of news as conversation

Here is a great example of how old-line journalism organizations can use the power of social media to tell stories in new ways.

The Washington Post is collecting and presenting -- well, more like curating and passing through -- tweeted responses to the question "Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?" Essentially, this involves nothing more than putting a window on the site where the responses carrying the hashtag #wherewereyou stream by.

I'm not sure when they started or how long they plan to continue. It first came to my attention yesterday afternoon when I saw a friend's tweet with that hashtag. I added my own recollection, clicked on the hashtag to view others, and found several tweets with reference to what the Post was doing. So I switched to the Post site just in time to see my own tweet float by. My wife saw my tweet, added one of her own, and I saw hers.

So it's been going on for at least about 24 hours. I'll bet tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of tweets have been made on this topic. Just stopping to read them for a few minutes is bound to bring some really poignant ones. I can't imagine a better example of the principle that "news is a conversation."

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