The 9pm Edict #3

The 9pm Edict

A tsunami devastates Australia’s Twitter tragics. People continue to die in politically inconvenient accidents. And Dennis Shanahan is a disingenuous… you’ll find out the word I use. That’s not news, that’s just an observation.

Despite the lag, here is episode 3 of The 9pm Edict. Finally.

You can listen to this episode below. But if you want them all, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

There will be a special extra episode on Friday 5 March to make up for the one we missed on Monday.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

9 Replies to “The 9pm Edict #3”

  1. Being a statistician, I heartily endorse your sentiments as delivered in this edict.

    Also, I was surprised at how your forthright views on Dennis Shanahan injected some energy to my morning walk.

  2. I don’t understand your rant against the Tsunami tweets. It was a shared experience in the same way as the dust storms which you spruiked as a perfect example of the power of twitter at Media 140. A worse signal to noise ratio which probably reflects the fact that it was also stretched across such a large geographic and and virtual area. But not dissimilar.

    Of course, unlike the dust storm, Tsunamis do have the capacity to kill people which makes most people eager to keep informed. And they can kill people on the opposite sides of oceans.

    Incidentally the Tsunami was actually originally estimated to hit the East Coast of Australia at 8:45 am. So what was wrong with Channel 9 being there then?

    Is the problem that the experience was so large that it didn’t scale well? Was the problem that people were interested in something that wasn’t directly connected to them? (Banal updates from Tsunami watch centres?) Was it just tedious because of the volume of repeated information?

    I can see why the experience might have sucked, but I don’t see how the people were assholes. Ultimately I think the difference between an echo chamber and a group experience is down to your personal buy in.

  3. @Jono: The Board of Studies NSW has a high school syllabus for Latin so presumably it’s still taught somewhere.

    @Sylmobile: Thank you. It’s good to know that some strong, reliable Anglo-Saxon words can get the blood flowing.

    @Glengyron: At the risk of treating this discussion with more seriousness than I’d intended… and at the risk of reading too much into my use of the word “arseholes” (not “assholes”!)…

    For me the key difference between the dust storm and the (non-)tsunami was that people were sharing their own experiences of the dust storm but simply re-bleating tsunami warnings and foreign media reports without adding anything — at least nothing beyond their own excitement that something was happening in the news.

    It’s the differencing between sharing an experience and sharing the experience of watching a TV program about someone else’s experience.

    We can build social capital by being the first to share news. That’s probably what inspires people to become journalists. But there’s a big difference between collectively creating the narrative of a personally-experienced event and just parroting the media outlets.

    I hope I didn’t refer to the “power” of Twitter in my Media140 presentation. It’s not in my script, but I was improvising on that text. I don’t like thinking of it as “power” but simply as an aspect of the medium. Calling it a “power” always sounds to me like someone’s trying to sell something.

    As for Channel Nine, there’s nothing wrong with them being ready to cover an event. But a live cross to a reporter at Bondi Beach, who then says “No sign of the tsunami yet” well before physics would have allowed there to be any such sign, and then just having her read the wave height reports from elsewhere, was a wank.

    1. I’m not worried about your use of the word arseholes – more interested in working out what makes some events work on twitter and others not.

      I think this is a personal view:

      >We can build social capital by being the first to share news.

      For me the social capital in Twitter is more in its instantaneous nature – news sources or personal sources – as long as it’s current (particularly with a real-time event). I think this is probably a common feeling for many living more on the consumer side of the broken media paradigm.

      I’d certainly prefer a retweet of current news events to the endless ‘just had a great breakfast’ rubbish. This instantaneous nature is something particular to twitter that other social media applications like facebook don’t really emphasize.

      Bad choice of words with ‘power’ which I think I did put in your mouth, rather than simply describing it as an inherent characteristic.

      The constant repetition of information on twitter (which pisses me off too) is probably an inherent characteristic of the fact that people having overlapping and intersecting networks they want to communicate with. The closer the relationship is between followed and following in your own sphere the worse it will be.

      I’m still not sure about the problem with the cross to Bondi Beach… travel times for Tsunamis aren’t precise and Sunday morning certainly was the time it was due. Incidentally it was visible in other locations that it hit, such as Hawaii and French Polynesia.

    2. @Glengyron: “We can build social capital by being the first to share news” wasn’t meant to be limited to Twitter. I think this is a core part of being human. We’re social animals, and there’s group survival value in being the first to say “Look! Tiger!”. Alas, this instinct also seems to be triggered by the abstract representation of danger in the media.

      1. Ah, OK. Now I think we’re on the same page. Hence the term “recreational fear”.

        This fits well with the idea of virtual communities and simulation, which seems to describe a lot of the wankfest in social networks to me. Now I know where you’re coming from.

        Not sure if I’d stick the Tsunami tweets in that bucket though.

        Thanks for your time explaining the edict 😉

  4. I like your use of “re-bleating” instead of “re-tweeting” here. Henceforth I shall refer to Twitter as Blitter, a cross between “blither” and “blatter” that I think has the right connotations.

    Also, regarding Edict #3: fuck yes.

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