Social media and particularly Twitter has offered a channel for Breaking News. The news of Turkey shooting down a Russian Plane yesterday was reported on Twitter. I was able to follow the announcements of the Cabinet Reshuffle via Twitter by simply following a hashtag.
The mainstream media is fully aware of this and in an effort to “ride” the wave, come up with #s for their own dedicated reporting. From the visit by Barrack Obama, the Visit by the Pope, Westgate, Tanzania Elections, Paris attacks there is a # for everything. However, I feel this (I will call it selfishiness) complicates matters for those following developments online.
I will follow a # by say NTV for the pope’s visit. I will then move over to one by KTN and then one by Citizen TV. Counterproductive. I am fully aware the entire reason is to allow the media houses collect metrics on mentions, engagement and reach. However, there are solutions developed by social media analytics firms such as Digital Rand that would allow the media houses gauge just how well they did on those metrics even when using a single hashtag. Instead of us having #PopeinKenya #PopeVisits #BabaMtakatifu #FrankinTown and what not, I think #KaribuPope would have served better and made it easier for all. What do you think?