Andy Carvin hasn't slept much for the last 19 days.
Curation of news, social media, and rumor: is this the future of journalism? The story of @acarvin
, a senior strategist at NPR
(and formerly with PBS
, the Benton Foundation
, and founder of the Digital Divide Network
), has been around the social media world for a long time as a blogger and commentor. He's also been liveblogging and tweeting major events for years.
Since January, however, he's taken his tweeting to the next level. With only a few hours here and there for sleep breaks, Carvin's twitter feed has been a flowing stream of news, editorials, translated tweets, rumor crushing information, and an amazing amount of converged information coming out of Egypt. His 20,000+ followers include not only normal people but also news organizations and policy makers.
This is not within his official role at NPR, although the organization has been supportive of his efforts.
His curation of the news might be the future of journalism (according to The Atlantic
How does he keep track of all the information?
"I use Tweetdeck for the most part. I'm not a partisan about it by any means, but it works for me, including on my phone. I'll usually toggle between various video feeds--Al Jazeera English, CNN, etc--on my Web browser. If I just have my laptop rather than my dual monitor I have at work, I'll use either my phone or TV to access the video. I have a number of columns in Tweetdeck for different things--twitter lists, hashtags, and sometimes individual tweeters. It's not really rocket science--it's just a matter of keeping up with the flow of information and knowing who's behind what post. Oh, and one other thing--I have access to AP and Reuters wires in real-time, so I monitor those as well. Mostly I keep them in the corner of the screen and wait for stories that are color-coded as urgent and referencing either Egypt or Mubarak. That helped immensely when things were particularly chaotic last week."
Why does he do this
First it was Tunisia... "Tunisia is so rarely covered by any mainstream media, and yet for several weeks I saw twitter and FB lighting up with one protest after another. And once things started getting violent, around the time of the Kasserine massacre, I really started to try and get my NPR colleagues following along. And that’s about the time I decided to create a Storify collection on it, since I hadn’t seen anyone else do one. That was somewhere around Monday of the final week of protests."
And then in Egypt... "Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out what my goal is. It’s been evolving as the week has gone on…. When I first started, I was just casually retweeting stuff from sources I found interesting…. But as things intensified, I basically decided to drop everything I was working on and focus on capturing as much as possible regarding what was going on there..."
And after all of this, Andy tweeted to all those that appreciated his efforts that they should donate to their local NPR station and let him know that they did so. Some say
this is perhaps the future of fundraising.