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140-word delight: fans discuss twitter

On Saturday, around 50 people gathered at Paharpur Business Centre situated in the heart of Nehru Place in New Delhi.

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2010 00:29 IST
HT Correspondent

On Saturday, around 50 people gathered at Paharpur Business Centre situated in the heart of Nehru Place in New Delhi. The agenda: to make a collective effort to define exactly what Twitter — a social networking site — is and to debate over what has made the site such a phenomenon in India.

IndiaTC, the first Indian ‘Twitter conference’, was organised by Twitsnaps.com, the first Indian website that allows you to share photos and videos in your Twitter stream.

The panelists included South-Asia correspondent of the New York Times Lydia Polgreen, Managing Editor of livemint.com Sidin Vadukut, founder of Twitsnaps.com Simarprit Singh, branding consultancy Idea to Impact’s head Pramit Nathan and Saad Akhtar, who runs the popular web comic, flyyoufools.com.

“Personally, I am a bit sceptical of Twitter since technology is extremely transient,” said Vadukut. “But there is no denying its power as both, a professional and personal brand-building tool,” he said, adding that Twitter had become his primary source for news these days.

The panelists discussed a variety of aspects like the website’s use in customer service, instant one-to-one interaction with well-known people, it’s use by mainstream media institutions to break news and, of course, the Shashi Tharoor and Chetan Bhagat controversies.

“For me, Twitter can never replace traditional media,” said Polgreen. “A 140-character interaction... leads to openness and transparency, but you still need tough reporters asking tough questions,” she said.