Introducing Twangle, Twinute and Twingo.

The Guardian, 19 May 2008 (link)

Why Twitter is the canary in the news coalmine

Last Monday, when an earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province, word of it spread quickly from witnesses on the shaking ground via Twitter, the mobile-and-web microblogging service where users share brief, 140-character-long updates with friends.”

The Guardian, 28 November 2008 (link)

Twitter comes of age with fast reports from the ground

From the moment the first shots were fired, the internet provided a kaleidoscopic view of events in Mumbai. Using blogs and file-sharing sites, those caught up in the mayhem rapidly provided accounts from the ground as well as links to the best news reports appearing on the web.

One rich source of information was Twitter, which provides text-message-length updates. Its Mumbai thread provided a stream of snippets, not all accurate, from observers on the ground, with details of casualties, sieges, gunfights, and even the suspected names of terrorists.

The Guardian, 1 December 2008 (link)

In Mumbai, witnesses are writing the news

Moments after the terrorist attacks on Mumbai began last week, Twitter exploded with messages. Prasad Naik, AKA krazyfrog, tweeted: “Firing happening at the Oberoi hotel where my sister works. Faaak!” Next, he reported that she had called and was safe. Then: “What the fuck! I just heard a loud blast! What the fuck is happening in Mumbai?” He was near a taxi blast in suburban Vile Parle. Nine hours later, his sister was home and he tweeted: “She saw piles of bodies. The Oberoi hotel guests. Staff members from her own department. All dead. Right in front of her eyes.”

The Guardian, 6th January 2009 (link):

What are you doing?

Wars have always been waged on all sorts of fronts. They have also, of course, always been about words: who asserts what; what different people mean when they say, “That’s mine.” The internet has vastly increased the ways in which people can have these arguments, and how directly they can have them, but even so it is huge step up to hold, as the Israeli consulate in New York did last week, a public, government-backed “citizens’ conference” on the social site Twitter – and then to keep replying to comments from all over the globe. It has proved massively popular: the consulate’s Twitter site ( yesterday afternoon had 3,739 followers, and at one point was posting a new comment, or answer to a comment, nearly every second.

We need a new term for a newspaper article that describes the impact of Twitter on a recent news event, and another to describe the ever-declining interval between the news event and said article. I’m suggesting “twangle” and “twinute” (“twinterval” has already been taken, sadly).

We could also set up a sort of bingo game (twingo, perhaps, like the cutesy French car). New twangle article? 5 points. Mention of Twitter in otherwise normal news piece? 1 point. Jeff Jarvis or Robert Scoble quoted? 2 points. Jeff Jarvis writes twangle, mentions Scoble? Twingo! You win!

Yes, I’m grumpy today. It’s too cold.

All © 2022 Tom Royal