Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Twitter to the rescue!

Author: Paulo Coelho

Today, in Digg I found this interesting story published in Mercury News. I’ve been using not only Digg, but also Twitter these days and found this fascinating.

U.C. Berkeley student’s Twitter messages alerted world to his arrest in Egypt
By Bill Brand, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 04/15/2008 01:57:41 PM PDT

BERKELEY _ When Egyptian police scooped up UC Berkeley graduate journalism student James Karl Buck, who was photographing a noisy demonstration, and dumped him in a jail cell last week, they didn’t count on Twitter.

Buck, 29, a former Oakland Tribune multimedia intern, used the ubiquitous short messaging service to tap out a single word on his cellular phone: ARRESTED. The message went out to the cell phones and computers of a wide circle of friends in the United States and to the mostly leftist, anti-government bloggers in Egypt who are the subject of his graduate journalism project.

The next day, he walked out a free man with an Egyptian attorney hired by UC Berkeley at his side and the U.S. Embassy on the phone.

Twitter, the micro-blogging service for cell phone users, allows messages up to 140 characters long. Twitter users can allow anyone they wish to join their network and receive all their messages. Buck has a large network, so Twitter gave him an instant link to the outside world.


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