Serendipity at play: On the media roundtable at #140conf

Unlike last year, I haven’t had time to properly write up this year’s 140 Conference in New York City. My takeaways from 2010 were much the same, however: the real-time Web has disrupted the media. This year’s 140conf didn’t have a volcanic panel on #CNNFail or the full attention of the Internet’s digerati, given Facebook’s concurrent f8 developer’s conference, but those in attendance were treated to case studies in how educators, artists, musicians, developers, marketers, fashionistas and journalists were using Twitter.

Given my profession and involvement in the digital response to the earthquake in Haiti, I was particularly interested in the terrific panels on real-time news gathering (watch it) and the evolution of emergency communications in the era of the real-time Internet (watch the panel.) And given my new role for O’Reilly Media and status as a digital resident of Washington, D.C., I was glad to see Peter Corbett speak eloquently about open government and the upcoming Digital Capitol Week (Watch him).

I expected to learn about innovative uses of Twitter, gauge the maturation of the platform and meet many people I’d know virtually for year in the flesh. What I didn’t expect was that I’d be asked to ascend the stage participate in one of the panels! Due to the disruption to air travel caused by the volcano in Iceland, the editors from the Economist that were slated to be on in the couldn’t make it. Jeff Pulver asked me if I’d like to come up.

So I did.

I was honored to join Benjamen Walker (@benjamenwalker), Senior Culture Producer, WNYC, Fred Fishkin (@ffishkin), host of Bootcamp Report and Nick Bilton (@nickbilton), lead technology writer at the New York Times Bits blog, to talk about how Twitter is changing the ways that journalists report, write and share news.

You can watch the media roundtable on-demand. Given that I didn’t prepare at all, I’m happy with the outcome. Social media can allow journalists to pick up on trends, find sources, find audiences and, over time, develop more trust with readers.

I was also happy to learn that NPR’s “On The Media” also stopped by to ask attendees what’s the point of Twitter?. Good question, great answers, particularly from the New York Times David Carr (@carr2n.

I look forward to participating in the upcoming 140conf in DC.

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