Sometime after 1 a.m. Friday, I happened to be checking Twitter when I saw flash reports about an earthquake in Japan, and then tweets about a tsunami warning, and then I saw this shocking image, which I retweeted. Twitter has changed the way I learn about what is happening in the world. More importantly, Twitter has changed the world. Tonight, many people are waiting for what may be the big Bank of America email leak, which is being announced via Twitter by @OperationLeakS. More history on the way? We shall know shortly. More
The video above shows a man, joined by others, who defiantly stands in front of an armored vehicle firing a water cannon during street protests in Egypt on Jan. 25. I learned about the video, posted on YouTube, through Twitter. I started taking Twitter seriously in November, 2008, when terrorists struck Mumbai, India. I had created a Twitter account in 2007, but didn’t know what to do with it. Twitter used to ask, “What are you doing?” And I learned that people were watching TV, walking their dog, or pushing a cart in the bread aisle of their Safeway. It reminded me of The Simpson’s episode in which Mr. Burns loses his wealth and is forced to live among regular people. He goes to the supermarket and tells a passerby, “I’m shopping!” But with the deadly attacks in Mumbai, I saw Twitter crackle with moment-by-moment reports from ordinary people about what was happening there. I felt connected to the situation in a way that is not often possible on TV.