The Revolutions Will Not Be Televised: Ten Things We Learned About the Internet During the Wendy Davis Filibuster


5. Vine is beating Instagram.

With the release of Instagram video, it was easy to see how it could overtake Vine as the choice for personal online video. But, being there first, as mentioned above, has its advantages and Vine is certainly reaping the rewards. Videos poured online from people in Austin last night and the bulk of them were on Vine.


4. Connecting through social media on the ground is a big deal.

At one point when protesters inside the capital building were being arrested, a flurry of tweets with advice on how to peacefully resist and phone numbers of defense attorneys in Austin underscored the fact that sitting at home watching this unfold online can still provide opportunities to be an active, willing participant.


3. Social media moves substantially faster than traditional media.

While social media hummed along, large media outlets lumbered in their coverage or ignored it altogether. It was a demonstration of the speed limitations that plague traditional media sources that social media simply does not have. Getting cameras and live feeds in place, writing stories and getting people on the ground for coverage is a slow, laborious process that was in sharp contrast last night to the nimble quickness of social media.


2. YouTube is a beast.

During the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers, news outlets in the Boston area tried valiantly to keep feeds online, but many were simply crushed under the weight of the thousands of visitors trying to access their servers. Last night, the Texas Tribune's live feed zipped along with no bugs or glitches thanks to the power of YouTube. As much fun as it is to watch cat videos and see idiots make pratfalls, the ability of YouTube to act as a source of live streaming is not widely heralded. It should be after last night when nearly 180,000 watched the feed without a single hiccup.


1. Big media failed.

The rise of the 24-hour cable news network was supposed to bring superior coverage of the day's events. But, at just before midnight with the clock ticking down on some of the most compelling political theater you will ever see, the much watched networks were covering celebrity gossip and the fight over naming bridges. One person noted that their local news in Dallas covered it briefly during the 10 p.m. broadcast, but cut over to the TMZ show at 10:30. This was a chance for a national news network to not just cover a good story, but to corner the market on coverage people so desperately wanted and they failed miserably.


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15 comments
SoSezYou
SoSezYou

I appreciate the story but as a limited Twitter user, I can not for the life of me know HOW it can be the breaking news source when YOU don't know the feed? In other words where do I find references to quick trending news stories that are applicable to me? Just scan down the Twitter trending list? Or is there some other website which breaks down the trending sources? 

Russ McClung
Russ McClung

Not here in the comments section, that's for sure

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

twitter, reddit, FB to some extent. i hardly ever even check news sites anymore. props to the tribune for their coverage on this, though.

Bren Ke
Bren Ke

Well Robert Robertson, that's probably because the major media is getting THEIR news from twitter too!

Bren Ke
Bren Ke

Actually I followed this via Facebook. I have both pro-Life groups on my page, and some Democrats, so I was getting info from both sides. One of the pro-life groups posted about it the evening before, and in the morning. I remember them saying that "she brought her running shoes'. They outlined the rules of the filibusterer really well. I got a post from Mayor Parker talking about how she was having a watch the filibuster party. When the third point of order came through I saw it on FB. I tried to tune into a TV station but they weren't covering it. I found out that the vote was to late the next morning on the radio, but I got the details from the internet (I think FB again) before I did anything else. I don't bother with the media partially because the media have a strong liberal bias, but also because they very rarely get their facts right. If the story is simple, (like a car crash) generally they get it right, but if it is complex or involves details, probably not. For example, the important part of this story was the rules of the fillibuster, how she had to stand, talk about just the subject at hand, and not wander off topic or get a point of order. THAT was the key to the story... how her filibuster might end and what she had to do to keep it going. The media didn't even mention any of that. Doubt they understood it.

BlueTexasMom
BlueTexasMom

The net has been an invaluable source of instant information for a long time. Twitter's definitely better than any other tool I've seen in the many years I've been online.

Lisa Sauter
Lisa Sauter

I'm so glad I got to watch this via the Texas Tribune.

Robert Robertson
Robert Robertson

i get all my breaking news from twitter usually well before major media reports it.

jamie_b_wagner
jamie_b_wagner

I would argue that YouTube didn't perform as well as I had hoped. In the end I kept having to refresh my feed every 15 seconds or so to keep it live. I watched for hours and along with the 180K saw that the vote didn't happen in time, even as the big media reported that it had passed.  Knew that the vote wouldn't stand, too many witnesses boys.  It was thoroughly entertaining and what reality television ought to look like.

CindyF
CindyF

Great article.  I want to also note that Christopher Dido picked up the live stream job when the Senate shut theirs down (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/christopherdido) - between that & twitter, the coverage was riveting.  I was very disappointed when ABC's overnight news World News Now reported (well after it was all over) that "Republicans are celebrating in Texas..." I msg'd them & they corrected.  Almost 100% of the news organizations that I follow on fb got it wrong the first time.  Major fail.  Go to the ustream link to see some of Dido's coverage.  Great interviewing combined with just talking to folks.  At one point he was wondering if his car would still be there as he had just dumped it on the curb and run into the capital when he got the call to get there and start streaming.  And, don't leave out the screen print grabs that everyone got when they tried to "go back in time" and change the date of the vote!  Can't make this up.

MadMac
MadMac

This is big stuff. Excellent article, Mr. Balke. I know what I'll be tweeting when I'm off Uncle Sugar's dime.

SoSezYou
SoSezYou

@David Aulds But Faux News is A Okay, right? 

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