Yesterday, Twitter released its list of the ten most powerful tweets of 2010. The chosen tweets, according to the Twitter Blog, “represent the dynamic ways that people use Twitter in the political world, for disaster relief, and to add commentary to news events, sports and entertainment.”
Some might wonder how Ann Curry, an NBC reporter tweeting a plea to the US Air Force to allow Doctors Without Borders to land their plane in Haiti after the earthquake, instigated any real action. According to the Smart Blog on Social Media, the story began when Curry saw a tweet from Doctors Without Borders about their frustrating inability to land in Haiti. This caught her attention, and not only did she tweet about the problem herself, she was able to contact Pentagon officials and solve the problem.
Interestingly, Doctors Without Borders also issued a press release about the problem. But it was a humble little tweet, less than 140 characters in length, that got the attention of those who actually took action.
Many local governments and agencies, the City of Seattle included, are increasing their use of online social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook. For example, Mayor McGinn tweets frequently, and King County Metro has an amazingly thorough Twitter feed. Cities and counties are finding new ways to communicate with citizens — beyond carefully crafted and vetted press releases — and Twitter remains on the forefront.
Many City of Seattle departments and elected officials have Facebook and Twitter accounts. Check them out!