The protests in Egypt are gaining momentum, as protesters gathered in the thousands over the weekend, Al-Jazeera was shut down by the government, and foreign nationals were urged to leave the country. Twitter played a big part in helping early protesters organize themselves (before it was shut down by the government, preceding the internet-wide blackout), and the conversation on the microblogging service has continued. We’ve compiled several different ways you can use Twitter to get up-to-the-minute reporting and analysis about the protests in Egypt.
Follow the accounts
NPR has put together a list of notable Twitter accounts following the Egyptian protests. They’ve listed ten accounts, ranging from Al-Jazeera’s English Twitter account to Egyptian bloggers to columnists for major foreign correspondence publications.
UN Dispatch, a blog dedicated to covering news and commentary about the global community, has also created their own list of Twitter accounts to follow. They’ve included Al-Jazeera reporter accounts, Egyptian leaders, foreign correspondents and others who have produced insightful content related to the Egyptian protests in the past few days.
Both of these lists are great places to start if you’re interested in following people who are closest to the situation in Egypt.
Follow the hashtags
Use TweetTabs to follow the most popular tags pertaining to the Egyptian protests, including “#Jan25”, “Egypt”, “#Jan28” and “Opegypt”. The link above will open these four streams automatically, and you can watch Egypt-related tweets unfold in real time. It is a bit overwhelming, as you’ll see non-stop tweets pouring in for most of the tabs, but it gives great insight into what hashtags people are using to discuss the protests so you can join the conversation.
You can also use Twitter.com to search for the above four hashtags. Alternatively, if you use a Twitter dashboard like HootSuite or TweetDeck, you can add a stream that displays tweets which include these hashtags. This is a more manageable way to monitor the hashtag conversations about the Egyptian protests than TweetTabs, as there is a time delay between loading new tweets.
Hashtag conversations are a good place to get a contextual understanding of what’s being talked about on Twitter.
Follow the notable tweets
favstar.fm collects the most-favorited and most-retweeted tweets about the Egyptian protests in a single place. Visit this site to read the tweets that people are saving and sharing, and possibly find some new voices to follow as well. You’ll find tweets about all aspects of the protests, including commentary, first-hand experiences, reporting and breaking news.
The New York Times has created a Twitter list about the Egyptian protests. This is a stream of news, reactions and on-the-ground reporting from Twitter sources culled by the NYTimes. Follow this list for quality and diverse information about what’s happening right now in Egypt.
Picking and choosing the most popular or cultivated tweets about the protests is a good way to get a general overview of what’s going on.