A lot of people argue that services like Twitter, Jaiku and more recently Pownce, are mere services aimed to boost our egos, services born to increase our already ego-flooded world, it might or not be truth, it’s a fact that a lot of their users simple use it to broadcast short status messages with few or no interest at all! It’s my belief that these particular services are the beginning of something unique simply because their particularly different from previous messaging services, and departing from this idea I’ll explain why I believe that we need a nationwide Twitter!

Twitter is much more than a messaging system, it’s a unique multi-platform broadcasting system. Like we’ve witnessed in the past with radio, which was used to helped distribute messages from different services across, simply and quickly, so is Twitter doing it somehow! Two different features in Twitter seem to me the groundbreaking, first it’s a internet based broadcasting network: my message is sent across a multitude of people and mediums originating from the internet, second it’s bridge for inter-connecteness with other systems: by using it’s Twitter public API we’re able to connected to it any system that outputs messages. In the end the process is simple: a message sent from the web, reaches people on their instant messengers, mobiles, or on their contacts page on the service website. The other-way around also applies.

Emergency Sign - copyright Edpma
The idea of a nationwide Twitter just pleases me because I tend to be more comfortable the more informed I am: I (unfortunately) have this deeper sense that in the event of something important I’d be the last to know!!

Cellphones don’t handle crises situations nicely! In case of a network breakdown, they’re dead in the sea, so we have to create something more reliable and universal. In the past, pretty much everyone had a radio, so trusting the radio was the obvious choice. Today, due to many factors no technology seems to be such common place, we have to consider that in the advent of something people will have different means depending on where they are at the moment, it could be a computers, a radios, or a simple cellphone, so we really need to have that in mind.

I would wish we could have a multi-plaform nationwide alert system, something that everyone interested, national citizen or not, could subscribe and register with different ids for different alert channels. When some relevant thing happens on the channels I’ve subscribed the system would broadcast an alert on all the mediums I’ve registered for being notified. This would assure that, when needed, the information would reach me somehow.

Everyday I see the more and more services using Twitter massive broadcasting platform for delivery updates on their interests. In Portugal we have Público, that through twittering is in fact delivering alerts for every breaking news they publish on their site.

So it’s probably just a matter of time before we actually see it being used for as multi-channel alert system, at least the “media” is doing it already! 😉

The only reason I think Twitter wouldn’t make it, it’s related to the fact that I think this system should be managed by some Official Emergency Department to avoid and prevents it’s abuse or deviation and therefore ruin it’s success as emergency broadcast system.

Any comments on this?