There is a new experiment underway that involves journalists from Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and France. No it doesn’t want to test out a new experiment involving telepathy, rather it is about Behind Closed Doors on the Net. The experiment begins on February 1 and will end on February 5.
So what’s the Experiment About?
The experiment is about having five journalists locked inside a house and they will be monitoring the news they receive via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The purpose is to bring to light how these sites play a role in breaking a news and how authentic can these be called, given the fact that these social networks have been in the limelight on many occasions in the last one year, from presidential campaigns, Iranian elections to the most recent reporting on the Earthquake in Haiti. Not just that, Facebook for instance has been actively used to raise donations and aid for the victims in the country.
The participants will have no access to communication and reading material like mobile phones, printed magazines or papers of any sort. In short the only form of communication tool they will have is an access to the Web and can only access to the links they get in their Twitter stream of Facebook profiles. They will also have the permission to access streams of their fellow journalists and links they have posted on their profiles. Just wonder if they are allowed to expand and add more friends to their profiles to have access to more sources. Not sure about that and stating my opinion this shouldn’t be allowed and they must remain with their existing group when the experiment begins, I mean if they have the liberty to follow more people or links, they simply don’t need to have access to other forms of communication tools. They must stick to their Facebook and Twitter only, which would actually help figure out how beneficial these social networks actually are.
What will it result in?
Well to me both Twitter and Facebook are plain platforms to have a wider access to the links. More like a directory of links if I put it more appropriately. While these journalists can also access news through the links, I look forward to a similar experiment that lets the volunteers remain updated via the social network and see ho updated they are with the happenings during the experiment.
To me this experiment would really stretch out the ongoing debate that how useful these networks are for the news to expand and words to get across and more importantly how reliable these are. Lets see how it turns out, we will keep you updated as the news happens and once the experiment begins. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this one.
[image with thanks]