Before the G20, I had the great fortune to get some great people together to have a bit of a roundtable about what we were expecting in regards to the event and social media. And I think the event delivered. Whether you agreed or disagreed witht he G20, the reason for it, the protests, or the methods, the fact is that there was a situation, and we needed/wanted information. Many of us sat at home, removed from our downtown workplace, or at work glued to their social feeds, wanting to know just what was happening as many of us sat at home and knew better than to brave the potential bedlam that we all feared would happen. We’ve all seen the pictures. There was cause for concern…
- Visual Impact. In an age when everyone has a device on their person that can produce a video, there were plenty of things for us to watch. As the riot police descended on Oakland at night, videos were up immediately. when the networks stopped covering the events Friday, there were plenty of videos up by midnight of the allegedly overzealous police force. Pictures were consistently Twitpic’d on astonishing subject matter. Videos of the tactics and responses. The best stuff, of course, comes out a few days later when the less timely technologies have a chance to get online. Some of the best give an interesting view to “ground zero” of these events.
- Coverage: As mentioned, the amount of video that was posted in blogs and YouTube almost immediately was fantastic. But there wasn’t any purpose to any of this content if you couldn’t find it. Luckily, I had discovered Tweetdeck earlier this week, and stuck a search column for “#myg20 OR #g20 OR #resistG20”. This gave me the best bet feedback about what was happening. Certainly skewed towards the protesters we were more concerned about doing something, the anarchists. The responses, one sided or not, were genuine reactions and links to steadily updating content of what was happening just 3-5 miles from my safe little suburban office.
Amazingly, though I was not in person to experience the event, it was rather unprecedented to watch the events from an overhead, overall sort of view. The spotlight was on our fair, picturesque town, and magnified via these channels.