AxisMundi Jerusalem

Inside Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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March 3, 2009


Despite living in a region steeped in so much history – history central to the beliefs of billions of people around the world – we at AxisMundi would like to think we have an eye on the future as well.

With that in mind – we opened a Twitter account today


We are the first to acknowledge we’re not sure why we did this. We also admit that there’s something of the herd mentality here if the number of people we have seen announcing on Facebook “I finally broke down and opened a Twitter account” is anything to go by.

But we have already seen Twitter and other social networking platforms like Facebook or Second Life become ever more popular forums for people interested in our region to express their opinions or share information.

The Israeli Consulate in New York famously hosted a Twitter debate during Israel’s recent offensive in Gaza which gave rise to comments like this from the team of ‘tweeters’ at the consulate (pretty grammar it ain’t but isn’t that part of the point?):

 @backlotops we R pro nego. crntly tlks r held w the PA + tlks on the 2 state soln. we talk only w/ppl who accept R rt 2 live #AskIsrael

@explore4corners ovr 500 rockts Hit IL in the 6 mts of CF. per the last 72 hrs mre thn 300 hit IL. kiling 4 ppl & injuring hndrds #AskIsrael

Al Jazeera’s ‘tweets’ on Gaza provided news updates and links to information during the offensive that thousands of people ‘followed’.

We’re not proposing to do anything like that with our Twitter account for now – although as we get the hang of it we will try and up our tweeting game to provide information and insight when the news’ cycle, manpower and other priorities allow.

And, just to underline our bona fides when it comes to new media, our pioneering correspondent Allyn Fisher-Ilan was using Facebook today to try and round up some ‘vox pops’ – those staples of news coverage through the ages where popular opinion is roughly and unscientifically canvased on the streets, in taxis, cafes or shopping malls from members of the public.  Well that’s what she told us she was doing, anyway!


As more and more public discourse on the issues of our times moves off the streets and out of the cafes into a virtual world we would like to hear from you what you would like to see us twittering about, whether indeed you think twittering is worthwhile, or any other ideas you might have for innovative ways of using Reuters depth and global reach to bring you the information you want about the sometimes frustrating, sometimes frightening but always fascinating region we live and work in.

(Photo credit: Palestinians take photos of a burning Palestinian police armoured vehicle on their mobile phones after a gun battle between Hamas militants and Palestinian policeman in Gaza City in July, 2005 REUTERS/Ahmed jadallah)


Twitter is a great site. People can connect with anyone around the world. great site..


Is Twitter a fad? Lemmings following lemmings? I joined and it may suit many but then it just another distraction of doing something good like help a fellow human being somewhere in third world country or indeed in developed country to help pull water out of the ground or lend a helping hand to those who have lost their jobs.

What Tweeting does for humanity?


Thanks Frendz and that really is the $6 million question about all of these online social networking tools…do they actually achieve, produce, add anything at all? While your point is very valid – that its all just a complicated waste of time – another way of looking at it could be that information, news and opinion shape the outcomes of millions of lives around the world so making the traffic in information more accessible has a real effect on people. So in many ways it all depends on the quality/value of the information being transmitted.
At the risk of sounding like a corporate shill – one good example of this is a Thomson Reuters product called Market Light that uses the mobile phone (the Model T Ford of social networking) to distribute key info to Indian farmers about market prices, weather etc. which can have a very real impact on helping farmers realise more value from their crops. wsAndPR/idUSL0134842920071001
Could Twitter etc. be customised to such ends….well, in the right hands, it seems there really is no reason why not.
For more views on Twittering its worth taking a look at Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger’s thoughts on Twittering and journalism here… sure/2009/01/30/twittering-away-standard s-or-tweeting-the-future-of-journalism/

Posted by Julian Rake | Report as abusive

repeating the link to David Schlesinger’s blog on Twittering: 2009/01/30/twittering-away-standards-or- tweeting-the-future-of-journalism/

Posted by Julian Rake | Report as abusive

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