Find A Lifetime of Success in 2012 by understanding “Time” & “Why?”

Ready to understand why some people are far more successful than others?

Brace yourself! I am going to share my perspective on why 2011 was such a success for me and give you something to think about in 2012. Here’s the funny part, I made more money in 2011 than I have ever and that little fact actually has little to do with why I was so successful in 2011.

I have had some great mentors and it’s all due to listening! You see those that know me might think that I am more of a talker, but I do a lot of listening. The fact that I actually hear what I am listening too makes it all the more effective. A lesson that’s valuable for life and Social Media.


In the movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” the Character Gordon Geckko turns to a young man and tells him that “time is the most precious commodity that I know of” a statement of absolute truth! While Einstein argued that time could be something of perception, in the case of the “theory of relativity” scientists make assumptions and simulations that space-time and other aspects of physics and astronomy  do not change the current state of time, in relation to the phenomenon of life.

During my masters program, we studied a concept that fascinated me on its own, supply and demand. The wildcard here was that demand was driven by perception. The concept became even more exciting when later we talked about the monetary value of leisure! The economic evaluation for leisure comes when there is not enough value to make the individual work more, or in the tipping point where the individual is willing to work during a time period traditionally reserved for leisure.

Time is clearly something that holds financial value, and in the case of supply and demand, we have a market where supply is consistent. There is only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so many weeks in a month and so many months in a year and so many years that we live. However, what if life is not as long as we believe it to be? The supply may be shorter or  longer then perceived. Demand seems to be the one thing in America that we do not have in this equation.

Whatever you choose for your profession, do not let it dictate your life. Travel, Family, Exploration and the Art of Doing Nothing are just as important and I believe a healthy part of a successful life.


I will tell you right now, if you work for or with someone who answers “Why?” with “because I said so” or “that’s how we do it” RUN!

That person is likely, lazy, selfish and/or just plain ignorant! Yes, ignorant! I have had these people just like everyone else and it made for a negative professional career experience in the fields of education, banking and sales. There is probably nothing more dangerous to the health of an organization, its culture, and our economy then these people. “Why?” is crucial to success!

Why is how we learn, grow and develop. It is crucial to success both for individuals and organizations. A supervisor, manager or superior has an fiduciary responsibility to both the organization and the client to teach their subordinate everything they know. I pride my work in student affairs with the notion that I had started teaching my staff from day one what I do and why so. In my absence, everything, for at least a while could run as consistently as if I was still there. If you don’t believe that you should prepare for your absence, then what will you do if you should be promoted? Do you not believe that your people are  more effective contributors to a culture where you have empowered them?

A small business owner should have the same relationship with their consultant and media professionals, if you do not invest the time to teach them about your business how will they be able to understand its culture? If you do not understand “Why?” the consultant or media professional is doing something then how will you know what to do in their absence or to communicate the evolution of the business. You may not be able to do what others due, either because of talent, skills or time, but you still better understand why they are doing it.  

Both “Time” and “Why?” are a crucial part of life, not just business or professional development. Adapt a plan that encompasses learning and educating the “Why?” to those around you, and you will find “Time” which will bring you prosperity in 2012.

It was a great 2011, I am looking forward to an even better 2012! Hope you’ll Join me!


The Daring Digital Decision: Bloggers Are NOT Journalists

Picture of Crystal Cox © Crystal Cox

Picture of Crystal Cox © Crystal Cox


In a daring digital decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Oregon, a blogger is not automatically a journalist. Crystal Cox, self proclaimed investigative journalist wrote a blog, Obsidian Financial Sucks, defaming the Oregon company. Her article resulted in a $2.5 million suit being brought against her by the company. She lost in spite of her proclamation:

“Yes I am a Self-Proclaimed Investigative Blogger and under Supreme Court Decisions, under the law as making a living as an Investigative Blogger, Gathering News, Taking Interviews, and Reporting on these Stories I am Media [sic]. I am an Independent News Media. I am a Public Forum, my blogs do go out in news feeds and I am Legally Media [sic]”.

“But the judge disagreed. Judge Marco Hernandez wrote that due to Cox’s lack of education in journalism, any credentials or proof of affiliation with any recognized news entity, plus her failure to contact the other side to get both sides of the story, Cox is not a member of the media, so journalistic shield laws do not apply to the alleged defamation statements Cox wrote on her blog. She has been ordered to pay Obsidian $2.5 million in damages.”


This brings up a critical digital journalistic issue by posing the question, “What makes a blogger a journalist?”

According to the court, a blogger who considers him or herself an investigative journalist, expecting to be protected legally by traditional journalistic codes or ‘shield laws’, must be held to the same standards as a traditional media journalist.

The blogger is planning to appeal the decision because she believes that bloggers need to be recognized as journalists and protected as such. In her own defense, she said, “A blogger is a journalist, or a reporting [sic] in my opinion, when they take interviews, get tips emailed, get and research documents, study cases and depositions, talk to those personally involved, and post their story just as a traditional reporter.”

There are several crucial pieces missing from Cox’s self-defense quoted above and cited in the judges ruling. They are education, credentials and ethics. According to Judge Marco Hernandez, she possesses none of these. She has no journalistic education. She has no credentials as a journalist as she has no affliction with any journalistic organization. And lastly, because she did not get both sides of the story, her writing lacks ethics.


As an author for the Digital Brand Marketing Education Blog, I personally consider this a landmark case that needs to stay on the books to set precedent. ‘New media’ offers endless opportunities for self-expression of ideas with the addition that these ideas can catch on like wildfire and go ‘viral’ as we say in the ‘new media’ speak.

This is what makes this case all the more important. Anyone can say anything. Anyone can write anything. But it is crucial that in order to be protected under ‘journalistic shield law’ that the same rules apply in ‘new media’ that are expected to be upheld in traditional media journalism.

I am certain that this ruling will be tested repeatedly. Other states will most likely have to follow suit. It is to the benefit of news bloggers, who abide by the rules, that this ruling was made. Without the traditional guidelines, education, credentials, and ethics being upheld on the Internet, a blogger’s misinformation can become like a dangerous wildfire gone completely out of control.

The Internet provides ample opportunity  for creative writers to publish fiction. A writer can only be considered a journalist by following the technical rules described in this post and based on the decision made by the Supreme Court of Oregon. Otherwise the writing can be a figment of the author’s imagination rather than his or her search for the truth.


Crystal Cox ordered to pay $2.5 million for defamation; bloggers not journalists

The Meaning of [sic]

Blogger Crystal Cox is No Journalist, Must Pay $2.5M in Damages, Says Judge

Obsidian Finance Sucks

Crystal Cox Website Blog


Bloggers versus Journalists

Obsidian Finance Group Website

Judge Marco Hernandez

The Twisted Psychology of Bloggers vs. Journalists: My Talk at South By Southwest

#SMWF: NASA’s ‘Out-Of-This-World’ Social Media Engagement Success

NASA has quite an impressive social media plan in place that has already created quite a social buzz. There innovative and interactive ideas has gained them a solid reputation for achieving success with social engagement. At the Social Media World Forum in New York, I had a chance to hear Stephanie L. Schierholz, Social Media Manager talk about what NASA has been doing with Social Media, and specfically location based services recently.

NASA Partners with Gowalla

Gowella, a mobile and web service, partnered with NASA in 2010 to provide them with an interactive contest where users check in via Gowalla to help locate four NASA-related virtual items. Those items were a NASA patch, a spacesuit, space shuttle, and a moon rock. NASA displays moon rocks from past moon missions at expositions, planetariums, and museums throughout the world. Moon rocks were easily located when users checked in to any location where an actual moon rock was on display.

Gowlla in collaboration with JESS3 created a special edition of a visual map to help users locate the moon rocks and the other required treasure hunt items could be found by checking in through Gowalla at any one of the over 400 science centers, observatories, nature centers, aquariums, museums, and planetariums that are part of NASA’s large Museum Alliance. Gowalla users that collected at least three of the four required items received a special pin in their digital Gowalla passport.

Plus, the first one hundred people who collected three of the four items also received a hardcopy version of the map in the mail.

Tweets from Above and Beyond

During this impressive social media campaign, NASA also had Astronaut Douglas Wheelock, or @Astro_Wheels, check in from Space Station announcing. “Houston, I’ve just unlocked FourSquares’ NASA Explorers badge.”

Check out the NASA Explorers Badge at FourSquare.

Campaign Statistics

This NASA social media campaign turned up some pretty impressive stats for Gowalla and Twitter. Gowalla had never had a past completed by so many, so quickly. Over thirty-thousand of each of the four required items were located through check-ins, and followers were increased by 4,278 during this campaign.

Since this campaign began more than 10,000 people have unlocked the NASA Explorer badge, and over 130,000 people now follow NASA on Foursquare.

Aside from the statistics, NASA’s campaign on Twitter has had other benefits as well. Some of the photos posted by any given @Astro to Twitpic can be what Douglas Wheelock referred to as ‘life-changing’ such as this photo of the earth’s aurora from space.


You Don’t Have to Be an Astronaut to Learn from NASA

Check out what the social media manager for NASA has to say about their relationship with Twitter and how they engage with their followers, as well as how you can engage yours!

Some lessons that NASA social media staff has taken away from their campaigns may help you as well.

  1. Use Twitter yourself first. Know the format and how it works. Get familiar.
  2. Identify the specific business case for your use.
  3. Locate new resources for growth.
  4. Keep the account active.

“You may not have a spaceship, but your company has a fan base. They won’t think of themselves as fans until they’re in a room with like-minded people. They won’t think of themselves as members of a community until YOU bring them together.”

-David Rosen, @davidhrosen (group VP, Makovsky + Company)



How Facebook became Pornbook [News]

Facebook tackled by its own value!

Facebook users where so outraged over the content that they engaged with it! That’s right, Hardcore Porn created a massive engagement practice that spread the content like crazy! As users commented on the photo’s, mostly in outrage, the Facebook algorithm moved the content to the top of the news feed. Users that commented made that material available on their users walls, making a single exploit on one account seen by 10,000 thousands due to the viral nature of that single account.

What happened?

Starting November 14, 2011 numerous Facebook users have noticed something disturbing in their news feed. Graphic porn pictures and disturbing images of sick and wounded animals started popping up as news. The pictures were horrible and shook up those who’ve seen them.

It made the news on November 15, when Facebook users started complaining on other social networks about what they saw. “The images I’ve seen today are enough to make me ill” said one tweet, “I’m ready to deactivate” tweeted another.

Facebook took notice.

Most of the day on the 15th, Facebook was quietly removing the images but admitting they don’t know how the breach happened.

That was enough to throw some experts into a frenzy. They recommend companies wishing to protect their staff from offensive content should block Facebook access to their employees until the problem is solved. Others tweeted they are staying away from Facebook until that time.

Facebook told ABC News on November 16: “We experienced a coordinated spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability”. And they are working to fix the problem.

The way this spam works, they say, was tricking users to copy and paste a JavaScript code into the address bar, in exchange of free stuff. Once the code was entered, it opened the door for the spammers and to the full address book of the user.

Facebook said this attack was not aimed at stealing identities or credit card information.  All the spammer wanted was to disrupt the service and shake the trust in Facebook.

About the Attack

Who is behind the attack?  There were speculations that an Anonymous offshoot was behind it, but another group posted a video on YouTube at the end of October, claiming they are going to attack Facebook on November 5. Some, who claim to be talking for Anonymous, said they were not behind it at all.

On November 17, Facebook came out with an announcement, which basically said; “We know who you are, and we are coming after you”.

It is not clear how many of Facebook’s 800 million users were affected, however if you consider the average hardcore porn photo found by our users had over 300 comments on them and the average user now has over 300 friends, the simple math says that 300 x 300 x 300 x 300 x 300 x etc, well you get the picture.


Klout has its users in a frenzy: Could Peer Index and Empire Ave gain ground? [OPINION]

Klout @Users and @Brands, we screwed you all but we think we got it now!

Klout might have overestimated their own Klout just after a wonderful video was published less then 24hrs ago by the Wall Street Journal.

Today we’re releasing a new scoring model with insights to help you understand changes in your influence. This project represents the biggest step forward in accuracy, transparency and our technology in Klout’s history. Ash Rust

Klout which has been a leader in measurable social influence and impact had spent the better part of the last year promoting themselves and their scoring system as the leader in connecting brands with influencers. While Klout built its business partnering with some great companies and brands to reach influencers, it would seem that in one swoop they said you got screwed to both their clients and their users.

Klout’s position is that it has made changes to better reflect influence. In one comment, Klout  compares itself to Google and the need to update algos for the purpose of producing better Page Ranking results. In the mean time, Klout finds itself in a rough spot having to explain to its big brand clients that they in fact might not have reached the right people.

I imagine the conversation goes like this.  Sorry you paid for something and we were completely wrong, don’t count on us giving you your money back but we think we got it right this time…. @Klout

As you can imagine, Klout users have been upset by the change as well, both the comments section on the announcement page and over in #usguys (on twitter) users have been hammering at the disappointment in being lead down one road to only have their work and social influence styles tossed out because Klout mislead them on what they thought was important.

What’s worse it seems that Klout admits it is giving even weight to social networks meaning that those that have spread themselves out over many social sites may in fact be punished by using Klout and connecting it to more than just twitter.

Perhaps we have given Klout to much of a stake in how we as social users are evaluated, I suggest taking a look at other Sites like PeerIndex, EmpireAve and keeps your eyes peeled for SocialIQ by SooVox which all seem to provide a much more descriptive look at how and why you are measured in social influence instead of a number and a random chart or two.

One thing is for sure, Today Klout upset a lot of their top users and proponents while opening  the door for others to enter their market with a statistical example of why they can do it better than Klout.

If your looking for a more positive outlook and what this means for the future of how you use it, take a look at this post by BundlePost.

Previous Articles:


Twitter Teams Up with the Weather Channel Social

On August 11th, The Weather Channel integrated weather forecast and news with the social media realm. Those who frequent The Weather Channel website for news on local weather can now sign into the site via their Twitter account to catch and share tweets from those in their area. Users can also spread tweets across TWC’s mobile, web, and television platforms.

Tweets gathered on the site can range from those provided by local news channel Twitter accounts, to individual residents reporting conditions in their areas. Although non-weather related information can also be aggregated by this system when weather related wording is used, the value in providing up-to-the-minute weather forecast for specific areas may even be lifesaving.

Twitter Proves to Be a Powerful Tool for News on Natural Events

The East Coast has already been the recipient of Natures unpredictable temperament this week, and it seems they are to face it once again with Hurricane Irene bearing down. Along with Nature’s wrath, the deluge of tweets sent out within the initial moments during the quake proves that at least in 2011, US Twitter users quickly flock to the social media network in times of uncertainty.

Animated Map of Tweets from Eathquake

Weather-related events can certainly inspire tweet frenzies, TWC reports that:

  • Significant weather events can generate over 2 million tweets per day
  • Active weather events can initiate somewhere between 300 and 500 tweets per minute that are weather related
  • On average days, users in the United States send out around 200 weather related tweets each minute

Weather may be the ultimate social content, as it is always guaranteed to trigger conversation.

The Mobile World

In the mobile world, TWC has an iPhone app that features tweets on local forecast pages with feeds of real-time Twitter post from The Weather Social page. Users can participate in Twitter conversation directly from the app.

The Weather Channel TV Programming

During live dedicated programming segments, weather-related tweets will also show up before, during, and after broadcasted weather reports. During significant weather events, TWC Social will supply users with a powerful tool that will provide The Weather Channel with the ability to tell the full story on how weather events are unfolding in their local areas.


Powered by technology from WiredSet, the Weather Channel Social can analyze Twitter conversations using a platform that designates refined algorithms to help recognize social conversations about weather events in real time.


Earthquake: Twitter An Emergency Communication Tool

What is your Social Media Emergency Management plan?

At around 2pm today, an Earthquake with an epicenter about 34 miles NW of Richmond, VA. 87 miles SW of DC. began felt as far north as #NYC and New Jersey.

While tens of thousands flocked to their cell phones and TV service, twitter spread the word to millions. Twitter had everything from people talking about the earthquake to news organizations using twitter to share the little info they had.

Fox News reported that they were having trouble reaching personal over the cell phones and had to turn to twitter for information.

The experience of the earthquake should signify the importance of a tool like twitter, it allows you to gather information and operates on a different bandwidth through data plans allowing others to communicate when the cell network becomes overwhelmed.  

It’s time to revisit your states, county, business and family emergency communication plans, should you not be able to reach each other over the phone, do you have a twitter account on each phone for you, your employees and your children?

At the time of this publication at 2:36PM Fox News reporters in the field are reporting the biggest issue facing people is the communication breakdown. Even NBCNews was digging on twitter to find anything they could for news content.

It was also noted that two Nuclear Power plants where taken offline near the quakes. With Summer in full swing and brownouts not uncommon, it has to make you wonder what is your plan to keep the phones and tablets charged?

Perhaps it’s time for twitter accounts to have a dedicated plan for buildings and businesses to inform personal and employees about what is going on. It’s also not a bad idea to have a family plan to allow others to find out your OK.


7 Digital and Internet Media Conferences you should know about

Part of any smart businesses marketing plan is the continued education of the employees responsible for these vital tasks. For this reason many businesses schedule regular digital and internet conferences for their marketing departments.

7 Highly Informative Digital and Internet Media Conferences

  1. Over 500 of the top decision makers in the entertainment, technology, and media industries came together in Arlington, Virginia at the 8th Annual Digital Media Conference East held on June 17th, 2011. The event consisted of twenty separate panels spanning six content tracks. Featured tracks included digital media, mobile, TV/Video, Social, Marketing, and Law and Policy elements.
  2. The National Conference for Media Reform of 2011was held from April 8th until the 10th and helped to join thousands of educators, media specialist, activists, journalist, policymakers, and more who simply want to better our media option. This three day conference included panels, hands-on workshops, film screenings, meetings, live entertainment, speeches and more.
  3. Detroit Michigan hosted the Allied Media Conference as a part of the Allied Media Projects network from June 23rd to the 26th of 2011 . This conference focuses on organic relationship-building and the concept of do-it-yourself media. It seems that each year this conference brings more businesses owners who are interested in utilizing interactive media as part of social organizational strategy.
  4. September 18th through the 22nd will bring the Web of Change Conference in Hollyhock, Cores Island, British Columbia. Celebrating its 11th year this conference always brings alternatives and trending methods to harness the power of the world wide web in effecting social changes around the globe.
  5. The Media Relations in the Digital Age Conference held in Hong Kong on July 7th and 8th 2011 is focused on learning how some of the more widely renowned brands successfully incorporate the digital world into media strategies. This can help to build leverage on many different platforms to help deliver a lucrative brand message.
  6. The TM’s Forum Management World Americas Conference will run from November 8th to the 10th in November of 2011. Held in Orlando, Florida this communications management conference has a bit of something for everyone from suppliers and providers to business partnership education. This conferences focus is to teach technical as well as business strategies to encourage success in the market of tomorrow.
  7. LeWeb, a Paris based Internet Ecosystem Conference will be held from December 7th until the 9th in a three day conference on important and trending information in the web marketplace. With over 3000 planned participants from more than sixty countries this group of executives, investors, senior members of the press, and entrepreneurs are sure to present an unforgettable conference with a wealth of vital information.

With tons of conferences held on industry information and trending standards in digital and internet media each year, there is quite likely one held not far from your own back yard. Joining Meetup groups or watching out on your social media accounts can be one of the best ways to keep informed of up-and-coming trends in digital and internet media.

Stay Tuned for Social Media Conferences and Marketing Conferences.


Social Media Can Change Lives, For Better or For Worse

At this point, there can truly be no doubt about the fact that social media can and does change lives. It may not always be for the good, such as in the case of more than a handful of people who claim that status post on Facebook cost them their jobs.

Facebook Fail

Ashley Johnson, waitress at a pizza restaurant in uptown Charlotte N.C. found herself immensely frustrated when a couple came in for lunch and stayed three hours, which in turn forced her to work far beyond her usual quitting time. They also left her a tip she found offensive. Johnson did what many folks seem to do lately, she ran home and ranted out her frustrations on her Facebook page.

Unfortunately, like an increasing number of other random employees around the globe, she found out that the things you say on social networks, can and very well may, come back to haunt you. Managers at her company called her in to show her a copy of her Facebook page with the offending comments and explained to her that she was being fired for violating the policy that requires employees to never speak disparagingly about the company or its customers.

Then they notified her that she had also violated another policy that states that casting the company in negative light on social networks is cause for termination.  Does your company have this policy?

Twitter Triumphs

There are also many stories like those of Kevin Smith, not to be confused with Director Kevin Smith, who found a great job through his moderate and initially half-hearted Twitter efforts.

He wasn’t just looking for another job, there were plenty of those, he was looking for a better job. Freely admitting that he was usually slow to latch onto social medias, Twitter felt a bit different. Kevin openly admits that his first efforts on Twitter were little more than a bit of pathetic whining on the internet in 140 characters or less. However, he also quickly realized that whining into the world wide web wasn’t likely to help him better his position in life.

As many months of job applications, interviews, and trolling job boards went by without the results he was looking for, he began to notice a pleasant trend on Twitter. People of all kinds with a variety of influences, who had the same interest as he did, willingly followed him on Twitter, even through his whiney blurbs.

As he began to become more involved in a Ruby programming language following on Twitter, he noticed that a notable player, and fellow Ruby enthusiast that worked for a nearby company, was on his list. Checking into the company and finding a resounding message, he felt a bit of hope. He followed his followers lead to their company website and sent in his resume.

After a bit of impatient waiting, he shot a message to his Twitter friend to ask if his resume had been received. He was a bit upset to find out it had not been. So while he sent in his second copy, his Twitter friend ran to the office of the person who received resumes to make sure it went through. This time it did, and thereby began his relationship with his current company.

He learned an interesting thing after being hired. Many companies now search out the social media input of future prospective employees. Although Kevin’s rants had been lighthearted and nowhere offensive in nature, you may now have an idea of how a negative social media influence or character, may have prevented one more opportunity, and likely with Kevin none-the-wiser. However, the hiring manager did say that having interacted with Kevin over Twitter for months before hiring him, also made it feel a lot more like hiring a friend than a literal stranger.

The Jury is Out

Actually, they are just about to be sequestered in the case of Casey Anthony, a Florida mother who is charged with the murder of her young daughter. Heard about it? Most people have. Although the story itself would have certainly drawn national media attention, the fact that almost three years later the case, and the discussion of it, is still carried on daily on sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, as well as full emotionally charged discussions on just about every news post since the story began, has been an ever-present cause of concern for Anthony’s legal team.

Although it is certainly unlikely to be the last case in which the line of questioning for potential jurors include such queries as:

  1. Do you use YouTube?
  2. Do you have a Facebook account? Do you ever post status updates?

The Anthony case has been a virally charged one from the start, but any potential alteration in the flow of the court hearing due to social media interruptions such as jurors posting Facebook statuses or tweeting opinions on this case is unlikely. Because of the large investment the state of Florida has in this case, many aim to see that social media does not enter into the courtroom, at least not without permission. It seems that most understand how one slight slip may cause justice to lose on a technicality once again.

Has this Changed Our Human Make-up?

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your glass-half-full/half-empty outlook, people haven’t changed entirely that much. Even before base media such as radio and television, people still wanted to be heard, to share their messages, and their stories. They just did so in books, magazines, and newsprint.

If you could remove the chatter and noise of our 21st century culture, you may also find that marketing and advertising hasn’t changed all that much either.  What has changed is how we are exposed to them. Obviously, from the previous stories, we also know that social media and its resulting benefits or its detriments are almost entirely up to us. So while social media certainly hasn’t changed the fact that we want to succeed, make our marks, and leave the world a better place for our children, it has certainly changed the format in which we have the voice to do so, each and every one of us.


Can You Keep a Secret in the Twitter Age?

Twitter has change how we communicate these days, and those who thought that the service is going to change the world in ways we cannot foresee, like Jeff Pulver, the founder of #140Conf. have proven to be correct.

But Twitter is, in a way, a double edge sword. As much as it can bring people together, pass information quickly and tell news as it happens, it is also a potentially dangerous tool.

The last events in the Middle East were enabled and perpetuated by the use of social media and especially Twitter. Whether you look at the way demonstrators passed information or cases such as Al Jazeera tweeting from Cairo when they could not report the news in any other form, social media played an important role.  The latest cases of relying on Twitter were reported in an article in Lancer, a medical magazine, when Japanese doctors used the network to get medicine to their chronically ill patients after the earthquake. The telephone communication was disrupted but the internet stayed on. It has become a convenient and wide spread tool, an “excellent system”, as one Japanese doctor puts it.

But consider other information that has been passed lately through Twitter that might have had an adverse result; during the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Sohaib Athar, an IT man living nearby, twitted:  “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” He continued tweeting about the explosions and gunshots he hears, but had no idea what was going on.

Had Al Qaida done its due diligence and monitored the tweets of a resident living near their leader, they would have known about the raid a little earlier. We can’t know for sure if there was something they could have done, but it raises the question; can you keep a secret anymore? He later tweeted:  “Uh oh, now I’m the guy who live blogged the Osama raid without knowing it.”

What did an actor, Dwayne Johnson (“The Rock”) know about the raid before the news broke? He suddenly tweeted “”Just got word that will shock the world – Land of the free… home of the brave … PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!” 45 minutes before the news broke.

What will happen with all the secrets? Remember the mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa who was caught in an affair with a news reporter? All that would have come out earlier, had the neighbor who saw him in the middle of the night going into her apartment with dinner and a bottle of wine, had tweeted about it. It could have potentially changed the results of the elections.

In the days of Twitter, information can come from unexpected sources and has to be reckoned with if a secret is important and has to be kept under wraps. Twitter has had its moments, and while some believe that Facebook is the powerhouse behind social communication, I would argue that a Facebook message takes far longer to make its way around then the 140 characters that are breaking news, leading revolutions around the globe yesterday, today and tomorrow.


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