Twitter makes news -- literally

Bangalore: February 24:

Whenever India makes news – good or bad – Twitter seems to have become a definitive part of it. On one hand, news broadcasters and publications admit to have got their ‘leaks’ from Twitter, and on the other hand, Twitter seems to have become a whole new medium for news itself. Over the last 72 hours, Twitter exhibited the togetherness of its community members, who are conscious, connected and caring.


Two days back, some random tweeter decided to start a conversation topic called AmazingIndianThings, with the not-so-sensible aim of listing out things that were typically ‘desi’ in nature. The hashtag (Hashtags (#) are discussion topics that can be included in your tweet) began by users listing down everything from Hajmola to Hyderabadi Biriyani, before graduating to typically Indian language usages like ‘take it easy’, ‘Bindaas’ and ‘Jhakaas’. At first glance, one does not see too much information exchange, but nevertheless, this hashtag went on to become the number one trending topic across Twitter users worldwide. A true reflection of Indian twitter following, and the willingness of the community to partake in its rituals.


The unfortunate incident of a short circuit at an office complex in Bangalore dominated the news last evening. While the rest of the world was getting the news from the channels or radio, a bunch of technology enthusiasts took on the responsibility of tweeting regular updates ranging from traffic blockages to probable escape routes around Old Airport Road where the building is situated. A large number of employees who were trapped inside the building used Twitter as a medium to convey messages to their friends and family. Messages like ‘We are trapped on the 5th floor and the safety ladder has come up only till the 4th” and “Finally, we are out and heading home” served as a real-time source for vital information.


In a lighter vein, when Sachin Tendulkar broke a one-day world record in Gwalior by scoring a double century a few hours back, India came up on the Twitter trending page yet again, with hashtags like #Sachin Tendulkar and #SachinIsGod dominating Twitter conversations. Canny messages like “Nobody has seen God, but we are now made to think that he is short, has a cricket bat and is a Maharashtrian”, and “On the day of her budget, Mamta Banerjee should have renamed the Gwalior-Mumbai train as Tendulkar Express”, to “The Reserve Bank of India should now start printing 200 rupee notes with Sachin’s face on it” were seen doing the rounds.


Well, the sad irony is that India has not been given its separate trending option, in spite of the mammoth fan following. Rumour has it that it will be ‘looked into’. Looks like it’s about time.