For those of you who think Twitter is only good for Harry Potter humor and cute animals, let me be the first to tell you how wrong you are. How can I say you’re wrong with such confidence? Because I live tweeted my first major event tonight (or last night, rather). Gov. Jay Nixon delivered his State of the State address, and I was in charge of tweeting anything and everything about education — from his remarks to GOP rebuttals.
It was incredible to see Twitter explode during his address. It was terrifying to add my own voice to the madness. Alongside other Missourian reporters, I used the hashtag, #MoSOTS, throughout his speech. Watching that feed quadruple almost every second was a powerful reminder of how far social media reaches. I was hearing from other journalists, politicians and citizens from all over the state simultaneously. That’s pretty awesome. And I got to throw my own voice out there as well, though timidly at first. I’ve been in this journalism school long enough to know that all Twitter users need to hear the wise words of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The last thing I wanted to do was publish a tweet that was a misquote, grammatically incorrect or just plain stupid. Therefore, I played it pretty safe. Next time I live tweet an event (Board of Curators, what up?), I hope to have more confidence and add more voice.
Think Twitter is only a place for bad jokes? If this beautifully worded blog post hasn’t convinced you otherwise, just take a look at the Missourian’s Storify of the reactions to Nixon’s address. Sure, Twitter is a great place for silliness and puppies, but what’s really, really exciting to me is it’s also a great place to speak up about the economic, social and political issues around us. It’s a great place to be heard. The Missourian did a good job listening Monday night. I hope all local media outlets will one day do the same.
Check out the article I wrote about Nixon’s vision for Missouri education (after all my exciting live tweeting, of course).