Mumbai Madness Feeds Social Media Overload

Mumbai terror attacks feed best and worst of social mediaThe madness in Mumbai continues as the Internet responds with heightened levels of user generated news and opinion that reveal the best and worst of social media. New York Times reporter Keith Bradsher was my lifeline in the middle of the night as the NYT blog “The Lede” issued updates sent from Bradsher’s BlackBerry. Mainstream media use of social media tools brings immediacy to news without compromising professionalism – a welcome balance to innane Mumbai Twitter tweets.

As blogger Tim Mallon put it, “I started to see and (sic) ugly side to Twitter, far from being a crowd-sourced version of the news it was actually an incoherent, rumour-fueled mob operating in a mad echo chamber of tweets, re-tweets and re-re-tweets. See Tweeting the terror: How social media reacted to Mumbai is an excellent web site that employs social media tools and its own news-generating resources that unfortunately were highly useful in reporting the deaths of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai.

ZDNet warns that using social media to capitalize on the Mumbai tragedy for PR is a bad idea - yes, there are some (many?) in PR who are that clueless. iReport continues to grow in sophistication and interactivity with 24 hr live video feeds and an app for people to send in photos, videos and audio comments.

Some have questioned whether all this info on the web is aiding the terrorists. I have seen a lot of confusion, very little concrete info, and many, many conflicting reports. If the terrorists were acting on what they learn on the web they would have shot each other by now.

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