The new ‘Twitter(er)’ and dinner with Julian Assange

Before I started at university I never been exposed to the wonderful procrastination device that is ‘Twitter’. I knew the kind of basic premise; 140 characters, regularly updating people who don’t care about things that don’t matter, or so I thought.

As the world of Journalism is changing, we can no longer just rely on writing skills and investigative nous to get the scoop. Modern journalism is over-run with ‘tweets’, ‘blog-posts’, ‘status-updates’ etc etc etc

Anyway, having been introduced to the world of Twitter this week in my ‘Multimedia Journalism’ class I began to get quite excited. So much news is generated by people sending tweets out into the twittersphere – I really began to feel that I had been missing out all these years.

Today I found a tweet that about a scheme that, for a small donation, sets up a dinner for you and your friends with Mr Wikileaks himself, Julian Assange.

It’s actually not as good as it sounds, basically you can invite all your mates round for a dinner party and at 6.30pm (GMT) you can enter the password you are given (after you make your donation, of course) into the site and Mr Assange will appear on you computer. He will then presumably talk to you, and everyone else who made a donation, about the freedom of speech.

I personally have two problems with this:

1) What happens if the outcome of his extradition hearing (happening today 7/02/11) means that he will not be able to broadcast to all wikileaks followers on the world-wide-web??

2) Is this a rubbish money-making excersise that will only end up benefitting Assange and the Wikileaks posse??

Maybe he is having trouble paying his legal bills and this is his way of making some quick cash.

Don’t get me wrong I like the idea of Wikileaks and the freedom of speech (and press) is very important to me, but I am sceptical as to whether this ‘dinner’ will make a real difference.

And finally, would any of you out there really get excited about the idea of dinner with this man??:

Five top tips for making the most of twitter:

  1. Make sure you follow interesting, trend-setting, news-making people – you can’t get the good goss if you’re not in the loop.
  2. Be active – don’t just expect people to follow you, encourage them. Make an effort to write interesting tweets and follow up on conversations/threads.
  3. Stay on top of what happening – follow the trending topics and big news stories, there’s a wealth of information to be found if you look hard enough.
  4. Remember a story can come from anywhere – I was browsing on Twitter the other day and something caught my eye. There was loads of comments and messages about a girl who was being ‘trolled’ (abused) by other users. I thought immediately that it would make a great human interest story – so keep your eyes peeled.
  5. Use your contacts – you will be amazed at how welcoming the Twitter community is, this can be great when you’re researching something. You will be surprised at how eager people are to help you out.

So happy tweeting!

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