I spent this evening tweeting and blogging for an event at the Frontline Club, which attracts the likes of Wikileaks’ Julian Assagne to its debates and discussions regarding indepedent journalism and politics.
The sold-out event was a five-person panel discussion on ‘People, protest and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa’ which concentrated on the uprisings in Libya. It was the second big event I had covered at the Frontline Club, and I knew that there would be a lot of amazing quotes and concepts to tweet about.
What happened next was a wonderful surprise to me, a relative Twitter-novice. Others in the room, and even people who were not present, began to retweet my posts. I also had some people asking if I could ask the panel a question.
By taking on that night’s blogging duties I had assumed the responsibilities of an (albeit, temporary) community manager. Indeed my community and I were actively engaging each other and I have to admit that I felt more in touch with these tweeters than I did with anyone else in the room.
After the event I “followed” all of those I had just been in contact with and ended up discussing some of the topics. I now realise that I have created my own microcosm of a politically minded community, which I hope will continue.
My mini-community has survived but has aslo become part of a larger politically centred network within my Twitter followers. For example, last week, “cannic” complained about the initial lack of coverage regarding Iman al-Obeidi, the Libyan woman who was allegedly gang-raped by Gaddafi soldiers. In retweeting her and discussing how horrific we thought the situation was we also attracted others (from my newspaper journalism course and elsewhere) into the discussion.