10 March 2009

How social media covers cerebral beltway speeches

I've been giving some thought to how social media could play a much stronger role in international affairs and global finance. (Yeah, I'm sure that's exactly what you were thinking about too.)

Then I learn Ben Bernanke gave a talk on Tuesday morning to the Council on Foreign Relations.

I'm surprised at how small the initial response in the social media world was to the speech. Granted, there wasn't much in terms of groundbreaking news, but this is one of those moments when thoughtful, serious people can and should give global finance issues the airing they deserve.

So what did I find? The mainstream media - yes, that organization I essentially buried for the last two days - led the coverage. But there was one major exception - Dan Drezner live-blogged the event at his new FP blog. He essentially took quotes from the speech and gave a few thoughts on the Q&A session. It's worth a look.

I found it interesting that both CFR and the Fed haven't done more to make this information more accessible via social media channels. CFR only made Bernanke's remarks available as a pdf document and not html. The Federal Reserve's website did publish the text for all to see without downloading. Neither site gave the option of bookmarking or sharing the remarks or asked for comment.

Since I'm addicted to wordle, Here's the "speech cloud" for Bernanke at CFR:



The first bit of analysis I saw - not much more than a quote, but it's the context more than the content here - came from a Wall Street Journal blog post. I also saw quick responses from BBC ("Worst Crisis Since 1930's"), the New York Times and Associated Press ("Bernanke Says Regulatory Overhaul Needed").

I did catch some twitter chatter. It's interesting to see which news outlets are using Twitter (in multiple languages to just push content out like an RSS feed, and who's actually using Twitter to comment:
Let me stress that I do NOT necessarily share the above expressed opinions, especially @itzpapalotl.

1 comment:

Seth Kahan said...

I am addicted to speech clouds, too! Thanks for this. See my cloud blog at SpeechClouds.com. Thanks for the fine coverage you are doing. Very cool about ft.com