The Understated Usefulness of Twitter
The shooting of two police officers on the near south side of Milwaukee yesterday was a very tragic event and my thoughts go out to the two officers and their families. Fortunately, it appears that both of the officers will recover and the suspect was caught thanks in part to the contributions of neighbors in the area who followed the suspect as he fled and others who cared for the fallen officers. It’s a small consolation that in the worst of situations our sense of community can show through like it did yesterday.
As terrible as yesterday’s events were, they were also a prime example of the actual usefulness of Twitter. Within minutes of the incident, a search on Twitter produced a continuous stream of news updates and pictures (thanks to mdesisti) of the scene on 2nd & Walker. For all the local news station’s promotion of Twitter, it’s never really apparent that they understand what it is beyond the fact that celebrities use it and regular people can post boring minutiae from their daily lives. In reality, it’s best use is in situations like yesterday afternoon, when news is flowing too fast to be restricted by the normal pace of television or radio news.