Tag Archives: Twitter

Politics 2.0

3 Nov

In class this week, we spoke about the growing trend that involves using social media to campaign during a political election. Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 Presidential Election was defining for a number of reasons, one of which was his heavy usage of sites like Facebook and Twitter to mass-project messages and promises to his supporters. Obama’s constant stream of updates on social media outlets humanized him in a sense, and allowed citizens to feel more connected. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, it brought him closer to the Y-Generation, voters born in the early 1980s and later, who turned out and voted in record breaking numbers. Through his dedication to sites such as these, as well as personalized websites like MyBarackObama.com, Obama was able to project more than just a candidacy in the election – he was able to create a brand. Equally as important as maintaining these outlets of communication was his pledge to continue connecting with his supporters via these means after his victory in the election.

Our class discussion allowed me to think about the relevance of social media in other countries in political and economical hot spots in today’s world. For example, with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou surprisingly calling for a referendum on the approved international bailout package, a move made Papandreou contests, to look out for the people’s interests, I am left wondering if Papandreou’s stance would possibly change had he been continuously connected with his country’s people via tools such as Twitter or Facebook. Would he have come to a different conclusion? Would he have heard more directly from some of the people who are unemployed, have recently lost their jobs, or are calling for his resignation in the streets? Would any of it had mattered? Yes, there are more questions than answers to this rather irrelevant question, but the premise remains interesting: in a country filled with all sorts of turmoil, could a political leader’s use of Twitter or Facebook affect public opinion? Positively? Negatively?

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Twitter is Everywhere.

24 Oct

I spotted these books in the window of my neighborhood bookstore on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes walking home from class today and had to take a picture. Twitter really is everywhere nowadays… I guess it’s just a matter of time before I finally cave in and open an account?

 

The Influence of Steve Jobs and Apple

10 Oct

Our childhood has seen some pretty drastic and continuous technological changes. I remember the introduction of the desktop computer into my academic career sometime in the 3rd or 4th grade – it was met with awe by all my classmates… and I’m talking about the old, quite intimidating machines that would garner nothing more than a chuckle and scoff today. Slowly, our view of computers changed from a convenient addition to a necessary tool, filled with constantly evolving applications, capabilities, and advances. The more that computers changed, the more that my generation became addicted to them. The more that they changed, the more that we relied on them for everything from academic work to games to social interaction. By the time the year 2011 hit, computers controlled pretty much every aspect of our social and academic lives, and ‘Steve Jobs’ was a household name, much like his revolutionary company, Apple. The changes in technology are so drastic, that I believe we would look back at the state of the technological world a mere two years before and be amazed that we were even able to function without what we have today (repeating this process for every two year period).

One of the amazing things about Apple is that the company makes one realize how seemingly impossible life is without it. Quick example? As I write this post, frustratingly cursing at some provided computer that would bring the words, ‘junk,’ ‘garbage,’ and ‘snail’s pace,’ to mind, I cannot help but think of how I usually write blog posts, since it has become somewhat of a routine: I lie in bed, take out my MacBook Pro, plug my headphones into my iPod, and begin typing away. Should someone happen to contact me while I am working, my iPhone would buzz on the table next to me. Sure, that sounds like a commercial for Apple, but it’s just become a fact: life is easier with Apple and all of its products. Some would even say that life is impossible without them!

In class we have discussed the revolutionary ways in which people are able to communicate and interact with one another via the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs: All these powerful tools of speech are virtually embedded with Apple and Steve Jobs’ creations. Whether it’s tweeting on an iPhone or facebooking on a MacBook, Apple and its co-founder have managed to permanently wield its way into our lives at a startling pace.

Finally, much is made of the remarkable way in which Steve Jobs used to present his company’s products. Jobs paces on a stage, using heavy body language and animated gestures to showcase the capabilities of his newest genius creations. Jobs’ presentation style speaks to the philosophy of Apple: engaging the audience and making them believe that life with Apple is necessary for all. There is now an entire way of presenting known as the Steve Jobs way!

With the tragic passing of Jobs last week, all we can do is try to begin to understand just how much one man influenced everything we know about technology today, and how much his products will continue to evolve and amaze, causing us to question how we could have ever lived without them…

Microblogging: The Twitter Revolution

5 Oct

So by now everyone has heard of Twitter, the world´s most popular form of ¨microblogging,¨defined in class as brief text updates with the intention of explaining to others what is going on in a very quick way. The popularity of Twitter has snuck up on me rather quickly, and I was surprised to find out in class that I was one of only three students to not have an account. While it would take forever to debate the endless pros and cons of relying on Twitter for information, I will quickly share two recent examples of Twitter usage that demonstrate both its advantages and potential dangers.

1.) While at a New York Mets game only days before my departure for Barcelona, the crowd suddenly realized in the middle of the game that the team´s star player, Jose Reyes, had just been removed. He had shown no apparent signs of injury, as is usually the case with the oft-injured shortstop. The buzz and panic was apparent around the stadium, as fans asked each other what was going on, and sent text messages to viewers back home, hoping that the announcers would have said something on the television broadcast. With the team broadcasters having to remain cautious about what they report on the air, however, there was no mention of injury other than the observation that Reyes was no longer on the field. My friend quickly took out his iPhone, pressed one button, and immediately had several Twitter updates from several sources unofficially connected to the team. Within mere seconds he could tell me, by piecing together various tweets, that Reyes had suffered a slight pull of his hamstring, that he was grimacing while being helped into the locker room by trainers, and that he would undergo an MRI exam the following morning. Without microblogging, I would have sat through the game worrying about my favorite team´s best player, driven home anxiously, and waited for the team to announce something, hours later, and after careful consideration about how to word their reports, about his condition. Talk about an instant stream of information available at one´s fingertips…

2.) One of the most infamous cases involving Twitter consisted of New York Congressman Anthony Weiner posting an, um, inappropriate picture of his lower area to a female follower on Twitter (I won´t post it, but it is remarkably easy to find online…). Weiner apparently meant to send the picture privately to his ´fan´but made the grave mistake of posting it to his account, making it visible to all followers. While he realized what he had done just seconds within the erroneous posting, and erased it immediately, at least one of his Twitter followers noticed, and the biggest political scandal of the year was underway. Fast forward a couple of weeks and the man once considered the favorite for New York Mayor had resigned, more women had come forward with incriminating evidence against him, and his marriage was in jeopardy. All from a Twitter posting removed within seconds!

As both examples above demonstrate, Twitter provides millions of users with information available only seconds after it actually occurs (hey, remember Osama Bin Laden´s unknowing neighbor who tweeted that it was rare to hear helicopter noise at 1 am in Abbottabad?) So, the final question remains, as Twitter expands and more and more users post information every second: is this good or bad for today´s society? Maybe a bit (or a lot) of both?