Friday, June 26, 2009

Twitter & the Planning Commission Meeting

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 12:16 PM

If you read Jim Romanesko's blog, you know that the sound you hear most journalists making
click to enlarge Local dog is still suspicious of local blogger's Twitter enthusiasm.
  • Local dog is still suspicious of local blogger's Twitter enthusiasm.
when it comes to the internet is a long keening mournful moan of despair. "But ho-ho-ho-hoooooowwwwwwwoooooooooo will people buy it? And if people don't buy it, ho-ho-hoowwwoooooo will we get paid?"

I don't have a good answer for that.

I did, though, want to talk about Twitter and the Planning Commission Meeting yesterday, in which they discussed the May Town Center development.

I couldn't be there, but two folks I follow on Twitter were or were watching from home.  (For those of you who don't know what Twitter is, it's kind of like being able to text message all your friends at once.)

I follow Mike Byrde (micchiato) and some guy who calls himself driver49 (driver49, obviously).  They're tweeting (as the kids call it) all about the meeting and who's saying what and what to make of certain rhetorical choices and both of them were talking about tnmetro, who I also started following.  Turns out that's Michael Cass from The Tennessean.

So, I'm following the meeting through the live reporting of these three guys while I'm at work.  I follow it when I get home.  Finally, I get to a television and switch over to Channel 3 to watch it myself, but I've still got these guys up on my computer screen.

So, when they took the first vote and no one seemed clear if they were voting to disapprove something or voting to reject a disapproval or what, I had three people I could immediately ask, "What's happening?" and get an explaination.

That was cool enough, to have real political junkies guide me through complex procedural issues.

But that's not why I'm writing this post.

Why I'm writing this post is to say that, after reading Cass's account from the meeting and having him help me understand what happened at the end, I woke up this morning and I turned on my computer and I went to The Tennessean's website because I couldn't wait to see what Cass had to say in a longer format about the meeting.

Nashville, let's talk frankly here. When was the last time you said about anything in The Tennessean, "Gosh, I can't wait to see that."?

I don't know what the future of printed newspapers are, but I do know that journalists who use the internet wisely can drive readers to newspapers. 

I know this because it worked on me.

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