I recently read a blog post that detailed a rather upsetting interaction between a fan and the panel of judges from Top Chef. SymiGoddess fell in to a full-blown foodie swoon upon seeing the beloved bad-ass experts at a local bar, and as a Top Chef fanatic I could totally relate to her excited impulse to share her luck via Twitter. Symi sent out tweets buy cytotec saying, “I just met @PadmaLakshmi I'm in love,” and “Tonight just got surreal @ the esquire. Top Chef in the house!!!” Everything was going swimmingly until her evening was interrupted by staff from Bravo telling her that she had compromised the location of the celebrities and needed to stop tweeting. “Now.”
To me there are two exciting things about being part of the Twittersphere, and the first is that you’re always the first to hear a “scoop.” We like to get our news in real time so we’re among the elite who get to hear exciting new things before anyone else. Twitter is the first place I hear most of my news, from the death of Osama Bin Laden, to the latest celebrity engagement ring Tweetpic. I stay plugged in, because I like to be among the first to know. That’s what makes it fun and makes me feel elite – I am special to know new things. I saw that Mila Kunis was working out next to one of my friends in a Boston gym, and yeah, I felt a thrill knowing that information.
The second thing that makes Twitter cool is that while the Top Chef celebs may have felt at risk, it is the possibility of doing an “a la minute” update of your news that makes Twitter special. I tweeted where to find the Stanley Cup the day after the Bruins won, and it was my ability to share real-time information that made one of my co-workers forever indebted to me. (You know who you are.) People love to share their micro-news and be among the few who are looked to for information. While influencers on Twitter are not officially members of the press, the lines are becoming more blurred and often someone who sends a tweet to their followers can reach more people than a local newspaper. Being someone who makes the news is really cool.
Granted, there is much more that is interesting and fun about Twitter, but reading Symi’s blog post made me feel sad, because they ruined the fun part of being a micro-journalist. People need to prepare for how real-time news will affect their life and learn to roll with it, because it’s happening, and their best option is to jump on board.