Monday, 30 January 2012

Finding opposing views (and surprises) on Twitter

So, I thought it would be good to look at ways to find people with opposing views. It is easy to fall into a social media niche where you only talk to people who share the same views as yourself.

I picked a topic which is highly debated #NHSbill to see how easy it would be find individuals. I've been building some classification software that I thought I'd try it out on.

I looked through all the entries and found plenty apparently opposing the bill but had difficulty finding views in support of the NHS reforms. I started thinking maybe I should find another topic that's more balanced as it would be hard to classify #NHSbill tweets. However, I did spot this one

from @felicitydeane.

But, just below that tweet, a few days previously, I noticed a tweet about Molly from Kenya.

Molly lives in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya and was given a small video camera by the World Food Programme. She has a YouTube channel with excerpts from what she filmed.

Kenya is something that has great importance for me as we have been involved with a Kenyan charity for orphaned children in west Kenya called Mercy Rescue Trust. I hadn't heard about Molly's video channel though.

A good find I thought. Wait! That's an example of the reason for looking outside your local social media network.

This type of serendipity is important for social media. I realise it is well documented before and seen by many as a great reason for building a network of contacts. It struck me as a particularly good example and thought I'd share it.

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