Have you noticed that Twitter is taking over television? In the last year or so, shows from networks spanning all types of discipline - sports, comedy, news, have begun to use Twitter to create buzz and to request feedback.
Shows like Tosh.0, The Voice and just recently Breaking Bad have begun to display specific hashtags on-screen during their broadcasts in the hope that they will spur conversation across the social network. For the most part, this Twitter focus has been successful.
On last night's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, cable news' use of Twitter was the topic of discussion.
Right off the bat, Jon Stewart hits the nail on the head when it comes to describing the complexity that is Twitter: Platform for serious journalism and irreplaceable tool for social change, or a mecca for screaming teenage girls?
He says that Twitter is the social networking site that has "become an increasingly popular outlet for new about Justin Bieber and popular revolutions."
But what fascinates him the most is the fact that so many news outlets are relying on Twitter responses about current news topics. News outlets like CNN and MSNBC often ask questions to the Twitterverse and then read the replies on air.
Sure, feedback from everyday folk has its advantages - but people's names on Twitter...oh the humanity. Check out the clip below -
The account he mentions that is quoted so often by the cable news outlets, @ladybigmac, turns out to be a woman named Ruth McInerney from Alabama. She is a retired bookkeeper, political junkie and NASCAR enthusiast. As of today, she has amassed over 1,500 followers for her contributions on CNN.
The debate about journalism and social media is a complex one. I guess a basic question is this: How seriously can we take someone with the handle @krispibacon? In my opinion, Twitter is a great source of quick information. The problem is that it is so large and unfiltered that it is oftentimes a source of wrong information.
Want proof? Just ask @NFLDraftInsider. His Twitter fail is discussed thoroughly here.