Twitter Is The Window Into The Newsroom

Nixon Impeachment netted 40 Indictments/Jail terms. I think the over/under for Trump will be 190. It will be staggering. Only those who haven’t discovered that the news has moved to Twitter will be shocked. Some of us have been reading this for over a month, in granular detail.
 
But, I want to be clear, I only started being active on Twitter in January – primarily to see what it is that I was missing. It turns out to be a ton.
 
Way back in 2012, the show “The Newsroom” on HBO gave me a great education about how the business of news was changing. Twitter was a huge topic. The race to scoop led newsrooms to treat Twitter as fact.
 
But, it’s NOT just all “fake news”. In fact, rejection of sources like Twitter is exactly the type of attitude that people like Putin want us collectively to take. Trust nothing and no one.
 
Here’s a better analogy or metaphor I’ve shared with some of you privately, in person. If you’ve ever been to a fudge shop, they always have a table in front of the picture window so you can watch them make the fudge. Yes, you are there to eat it, but it’s fascinating to some. Not everyone, just some. Some just want to eat the fudge.
 
Twitter is a window into the Newsroom where news is made. It used to be, a long time ago, a place where conversation and debate occurred between reporters. Arguments, really. And, in the end, the news was a negotiation between those checking facts, those interviewing subjects, editors, and those who reported it to the rest of us – each with their own professional self-interest related to credibility.
 
We didn’t get to see that process, almost ever. Maybe if a parent or friend worked there, and we had an opportunity to stop by. But big stories were for those in the room.
 
Now, we have a window into that process, and for better or worse, and whether you like it or not, that place is Twitter. Don’t shoot this messenger.
 
Here’s the thing that I think is positive about the platform: It’s an efficient and semi-transparent means of seeing how those who play those same Newsroom roles arrive at the opinions and conclusions that they eventually write or broadcast about. And, not only do you have window, you’ve got the added benefit of interacting with these players – unless, of course, they block you. But, even then, you are only a new login away from reopening the door.
 
I think the other thing that most people are not aware of is that Twitter is also dominated, to a degree, by robots, or bots for those who get the lingo. The ability to measure trends on Twitter is invaluable to tell the relative importance and popularity of a subject. But, this system can be gamed by automation.
 
I saw something about the Seth Rich story in the past two days showing that the number of uses of these hashtags was bursts with 2-minute silent intervals. This is a tell-tale sign of a simplistic program that randomizes automation to make it not look like automation until you look at the trending data – super nerdy, and arguably OCD.
 
So, when I say something like “the over/under on indictments is 190”, and that sounds absurd to you, it only means you haven’t see the repeated predictions come true. That’s not just an arbitrary number, but the high-end of a revised estimate from a person on Twitter who has an inside source (you know a LEAKER) who has been right about thing after thing so far. I’m arguably using inside info.
 
Look, I get it. You are reading this on Twitter. Or maybe my blog. You already think you spend too much time online. But, that’s the thing – those trying to swim through entirely too much information the past 6 months are using Twitter for it’s efficiency. No long-winded posts possible. And, the ability to link or share video or images that get to the point.
 
You have a choice. You can continue to just buy and eat the fudge after it’s made, or you can come over to the window and watch. Or go inside and actually ask the fudge-makers where they are getting their ingredients, or what their technique is about.
 
But, please, don’t be shocked when people post things that sound so incredibly far-fetched continue to be proven right. There’s a pre-news source of information that has suddenly gone from being a novelty to an essential tool for anyone who has an interest in being informed.
 
It’s called Twitter.
 
Follow me or those I follow (its super easy) @andyroomowery if you want to catch up. I’ve now posted over 1000 tweets that have been almost exclusively about following this crazy Presidency. You can catch up quicker than you think, and stay in tune from there on out.
 
And if you want to place wagers on how many indictments and jail terms are coming from the #TrumpRussiaRICOTurkeyEtcEtc scandal, I’m more than glad to take your money. Particularly if you admit you hate Twitter and will never look.
 
“Lock her up” video from the GOP Convention will become the most ironic history for decades – all the documentaries will have to replay that as Trump campaign, business, and government associates get frog-marched off, one by one.
 
Please, bet me. Fish in a barrel.

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