I started using twitter last year, to have fresh news on the Bombay (yes, I prefer it this way) terrorist attack and – as I was about to travel through Bangkok – the unrest in Thailand and the airport occupation. Since then, I have “followed” a number of news sources and individuals and I must say that “real time” news is addictive and – in many instances – indispensable.
This morning, at about 7:30, two powerful bombs went off five minutes apart in two luxury hotels in the Indonesian capital Jakarta: the Marriott Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton; a few minutes later the first tweets started appearing. What is incredible is the delay with which the main media outlets (including local ones) reported the first news.
What started as a ridiculous application for megalomaniacs intent on inflicting their moods on the world has become, surprisingly, a fantastic information (and “intelligence”?) tool; I doubt very much that the public, getting more and more used to this kind of immediate feedback, will have in future any uses for current means of information dissemination.