News the new way

Last night, protests that have been taking place in Toronto for the past few weeks at Queen’s Park and the US Consulate spilled onto the Gardiner Expressway, the elevated freeway that runs through downtown.

It was this event that brought home to me on a personal level the way the world is changing when it comes to how news is disseminated, and the role Twitter is playing in ushering in this new era.

Tamil protest on the GardinerMy condo looks over the freeway and I was able to watch the protests from above as they progressed through the evening. It started around 6:30pm and lasted until nearly midnight, when the last of the diehards finally called it a day.

When I wasn’t taking pictures of the crowd below, I was glued to my Twitter client of choice (for this week anyway), DestroyTwitter, reading the updates coming in from people watching the action from different vantage points.

All you needed to do follow the trend was search for #tamil or #tamilprotest. People weren’t just commenting on how crazy it all looked from above, but were also posting links to background information about the protests and the reason for them.

The most valuable aspect to me of this new way to experience current events is the connection I felt to everyone else in the city inconvenienced by the shutdown of the busy thoroughfare. There are a variety of points of view on the intelligence of the tactic itself, and everyone is sharing theirs via Twitter. It’s just such an incredible tool to connect people.

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