It was confirmed a minute later that in fact nothing out of the ordinary had occurred at the white house, and that president Barack Obama was fine. Yet, in that one minute, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1% before recovering. You can see this dip below very clearly around 1pm in the graph below, still visible the next day.
Many folks out there have no connection to twitter, and can barely see its usefulness. People said the same thing about blogs in the early 2000s. Some of us may not like twitter, or do not use it on a regular basis. It’s easy if you are not inclined to use these technologies to be puzzled as to why anybody else would. It’s easy to fail to see the relevance of twitter if it’s not something that you use.
But is there any doubt now that, at least for certain tweeters, that people are not only listening but prepared to act as a result of a single tweet ?
Of course there are a large number of people tweeting about how bored they are, posting pictures of their cats and their baby’s antics, but there are other accounts whose tweets affect people all over the world.
For an account like Associated Press’ twitter account, people will act on the tiniest tweet, to get that edge over the others, to react more quickly than others, for the sake, for example of catching a market crash before others do.
But even though in this example the damage lasted only a minute, there is definitely the question of whether seeing tweets on your Twitter wall is enough. It’s important to get an overall view of what is happening in the world, not just from a single tweet, but from a larger community. AP getting hacked is just another example of how a particular feed, which under most circumstances provides reputable information, can be hijacked for potentially disastrous results.
The immediate constellation of words surrounding ‘#AP’ tells us a different story. At a glance, we see that AP account on twitter has been hacked, we can also see other relevant conversations surrounding this constellation of terms, conversations concerning vulnerabilities of social media accounts.
It’s important to be able to not only follow important tweeters, but also to be able to place the concepts and links that are posted into context and get a sense of what is happening in the ongoing twitter conversations within the “twittersphere”.
Our nexalogy tools are designed especially to do just that.
So the next time something happens that freaks you out to the point of selling everything you own, go first to Hootsuite sign-up and try our free Nexalogy Search App to get a sense of the larger conversation.