23 April 2008

One very good reason for using Twitter

This sounds like a very good reason for using Twitter.

U.C. Berkeley student's Twitter messages alerted world to his arrest in Egypt - San Jose Mercury News:
When Egyptian police scooped up UC Berkeley graduate journalism student James Karl Buck, who was photographing a noisy demonstration, and dumped him in a jail cell last week, they didn't count on Twitter.

Buck, 29, a former Oakland Tribune multimedia intern, used the ubiquitous short messaging service to tap out a single word on his cellular phone: ARRESTED. The message went out to the cell phones and computers of a wide circle of friends in the United States and to the mostly leftist, anti-government bloggers in Egypt who are the subject of his graduate journalism project.

The next day, he walked out a free man with an Egyptian attorney hired by UC Berkeley at his side and the U.S. Embassy on the phone.
The problems I see with it, however, are:

  • 1. I've never managed to get Twitter to work on my cell phone.
  • 2. I've never managed to persuade any of my close family to use Twitter, so they might discover it 20 years after I'd starved to death in a dungeon somewhere, with my skeleton covered with dust and cobwebs.
  • 3. None of the people who've wanted to "follow me" on Twitter know me at all, and so probably would never see the message, and if they did would have a hard time remembering who I am or why they wanted to "follow" me in the first place.

Hat-tip to AdesBlog.

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