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R.

AGE

STARTWO, WEdNESdAy 4 MAy 2011

T

The next step


By NIKI CHEONG
niki@thestar.com.my

president
Even before USofficially
Barack Obamadeath of
confirmed the n, the news
Osama bin Lade
eated Twitter
had already cr
buzz.

HEN Sohaib
Athar
(@Really
Virtual) sent tweets
out about the rare
event a helicopter hovering above
Abbottabad, a city in
Pakistan a few
nights ago, he didnt
imagine that he would
be credited with
breaking such an
important piece of
news.
In fact, it was such
an insignificant
moment, that the
second tweet was in
jest: Go away helicopter before I take
out my giant swatter
:-/.
The helicopter was one of four
in a raid held to capture Al
Qaedas Osama bin Laden, which
eventually led to his death.
Of course, no one (besides
those who were clued in about
the raid) knew about the incident
Sohaib was tweeting about.
In fact, the Twitterverse only
went on an #osama and #OBL
rampage after @KeithUrbahn
tweeted: So Im told by a reputable person they have killed
Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.
This has been credited by many
news sources as the first tweet
about the attack.
It appeared even before US
president Barack Obama officially
announced the news.
Like most major news that has
broken on Twitter, the frantic
search to find the early tweeters
is a given. This would be followed
by the announcement, often
by advocates of social medias
prowess, that Twitter has once
again trumped the traditional
media.
Considering the number of
breaking news weve gotten on
Twitter, I wonder if were not
tired of the same rethoric yet.
Ever since Janis Krums posted
that now-iconic picture of the
US Airways plane that crashed
into the Hudson River in New
York in 2009, Twitter has been
credited with breaking the news
of several significant events and
incidents.
Many the traditional media
included have acknowledged
social medias speed in terms
of information dissemination.
It is this realisation that has
led to the many debates about
the journalism industry, the
downfall of traditional media,
and social medias role in this
phenomenon.
The fact is that it is not the
ability to scoop the traditional
media that makes social media
what it is. Social media does not
exist in isolation and is most
powerful when used to comple-

ment and mobilise action.


That is why it is time we
move on from focusing on
the breaking news factor
and instead look at other
elements that social
media can offer. Perhaps,
we should start asking
more often: What can
social media do after the news
has broken?
We have already seen examples of this happening in the past
few months.
In Japan recently, when the
tragic earthquake happened,
social media aided in the
search efforts (through Googles
Person Finder) and in sending
out tsunami alerts. In North
Africa, and the Middle East,
it was the conversations
happening on social media
that served as an enabler for the
revolutions.
I also found Sohaibs tweets
(such as when he posted on
Twitpic, life in Abbottabad,
around the time of Obamas
announcement) to be most interesting in the news development
of Osamas death on Monday.
Then there were also the use of
Google Maps to indicate the location of the raid.
These examples indicate that it
is in action that social media
reigns supreme.
Online media company
GigaOm, in an article titled The
stages of news in a Twitter and
Facebook era, wrote: Action.
This is where Facebook and
social media really shine. From
tweets about people seeking
more information from friends
to those seeking to find out if
others are meeting at Ground
Zero by checking out a live web
cam of the site, people now can
learn about news and do something.
Many social media advocates
will tell you that we havent seen
anything yet when it comes to
the real power of these networks.
With each new incident and
event happening around the
world, we are seeing ingenius
new ways in which people are
using social media. We live in
exciting times, where technology
is concerned, but for me, it is in
the anticipation of what is to
come that is keeping me on the
edge of my seat.

A spectacular

Mothers
Day
14-15 May

Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra


Claus Peter Flor conductor
Arnaldo Cohen piano

11 May

oin us in a nostalgic evening with


music in the style of bands like
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Blind Faith
and Bob Dylan. Well go from a few 60s
folk songs followed by a bit of Irish
ddle music, to harmonized ballads
and ending in a full-blown rocknroll
jam with as many electric guitars
on stage as we can muster. The
audience is denitely invited
to get up and dance!
Led by MPO double
bassist, Joe Pruessner.

any thought they were witnessing the end of


the great symphonic tradition with Shostakovichs
Symphony No.15, his last. They werent. But the work
represents some sense of parting in its happy inclusion
of themes taken from earlier works. Brahms, on the
other hand, desperately wanted to write a symphony
but his rst attempt changed into a concerto Piano
Concerto No.1 and, as such, has enriched the genre
with a work of rare grandeur and eloquence.
S AT 8.30PM:
S U N 3.00PM:

RM95

RM85

RM75
RM65

RM55
RM40

RM25

RM20

WED 6.30 PM
ALL SEATS: R M 1 0

CHAMBER CONCERT

17 May

MPO Chamber Players

A Heavenly
Work
SCHUBERT Octet

TUE 6.30 P M
ALL SEATS:

RM

10

ffer
A Spectacpaurelas rtoO
dinner with

m
Nothing quite co oor of the worlds
nd
42
e
Mom on th
lar view for a
ers! A spectacu
tallest twin tow her! Reserve your table
spectacular mot alaysian Petroleum
M
at the exclusive ay 14th May for
rd
tu
Sa
Club on
rson.
RM100++ per pe day.
to
07
70
1
05
Call 03-2

Find us on Facebook: fb.mpo.com.my

BOOK NOW! 03-2051 7007 mpo.com.my


DEWAN FILHARMONIK PETRONAS LEVEL 2, TOWER 2, PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS, KLCC, 50088 KUALA LUMPUR

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