February 28, 2009

L.A. TIMES: Anti-stimulus tea parties light up Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and social media.

In the latest example of how user-produced media can capture so-called “massively-shared” events in a way mainstream media can’t, a wave of images, blog posts and videos from a nationwide protest has been washing across the Web. The protests, dubbed “tea parties” by participants, were held Friday in several U.S. cities including Portland and Washington, D.C. as a response to what demonstrators see as unfettered spending and encroaching government as represented by President Obama’s economic recovery plans. . . .

Though even a year ago it would’ve been a slow and difficult process to chronicle a widely scattered protest such as this, the online community is now mastering the art of high-speed media sharing, a trend that can unite geographically disparate communities via the Web. Much of the sharing is now facilitated by the fast-growing messaging site Twitter, where today the keyword “teaparty” was one of the most frequently used terms. Users sent frequent updates about attendance, linking to photos on Flickr and Photobucket, and videos on YouTube and other sites. . . . If social media is a good barometer, it looks like the spending bill is stimulating the citizenry already.

Read the whole thing. The picture is from Hartford, where I didn’t even realize there had been a rally.