On Tuesday Twitter unveiled the New Twitter: an information network that allows us to share and discover the latest news and information about the things that matter most to us. That’s right- according to Kevin Thau, Twitter’s VP for business and corporate development, Twitter is NO Longer a SOCIAL NETWORK, as first reported by Read Write Web. This rebranding might very well mark a new era of increased awareness and engagement with information across diverse levels of society. This gives me hope. But why & about what?
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I believe many of our food system issue, such as the egg recall, result from lack of coordination, communication, and information across the system. By encouraging us to “discover what’s new in your world,” Twitter repositions itself, focusing on the utility that can be gained through improved access, curation, and consumption of the information most relevant to ourselves. While this may simply be marketing, with 90 million tweets a day, I can’t help but feel excited about the possibilities this kind of large-scale paradigm shift could mean if applied to the food system.
For me, the real power of Twitter is that it makes information dynamic, going beyond the mere consumption of news and content. It creates opportunities for interactivity, engagement, and participation through the sharing of information, all regardless of age, race, religion, and economic standing. Twitter is turning the traditional model of top-down information dissemination on its head.
I’ll use myself as an example. Below is my information community:
My community is made up of farmers, politicians, information technologists, executives of large corporations, scientists, educators, journalists, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and changemakers from all over the world. I do use twitter as a tool for keeping up to date with news, but even more so, I use it as a tool for connecting with people around common interests
Over the past 7 months, I have been exposed to an entirely new world of knowledge, information, collaborations, and real-life relationships. I have even become active civically, tweeting with my representatives about issues I feel passionate about.
So, what does this have to do with Food? A lot!
Twitter is already being leveraged by actors throughout the system in a variety of different ways. The simple platform provides major opportunities for increased accountability, transparency, coordination, and communication. Some of the major ingredients necessary for addressing our challenges.
Here are some examples of the ways in which twitter is being used:
How do you use twitter?