Remember the DotComGuy? In 2000, Mitch Maddox, a man from Texas, legally changed his name to that as he decided to live for one year year without leaving his home, buying everything he needed online and having it delivered to him. He didn’t make it.
Fast forward to 2010; While not quite that extreme, five journalists have agreed to go stay in a farmhouse together to see what kind of stories they can get using only Twitter and Facebook as sources. They will be stripped of their cellphones, and will have no other contact with the outside world other than the social networks. I’m not kidding. MSN has the full story here.
The goal here is to see just how good these networks are at actually providing information. Regular readers will know this is a topic near and dear to my heart as I’m a huge proponent of using these realtime information streams to gather information. Sure, the speed at which the information flows in doesn’t always equate to the complete story, but they’re great for watching events unfold before your eyes.
That said, there is often a need for other sources to verify the information being found in realtime, so using only these networks as the source of information should yield some interesting results.
The five people, from Canadian, French, Belgian and Swiss radio stations will be staying in France’s southern Perigord region for this experiment. It will last for five days. “They have agreed to be linked to the outside world only through Twitter and Facebook. No web surfing is allowed,” Francoise Dost of the RFP French-language public broadcasters association (which is running the experiment) tells Agence France-Presse.
They’ll be giving updates on their respective radio stations and apparently will be updating a collective blog. They’ll also obviously be on Twitter, which you can find here. The Next Web has more as well.
Keep an eye out for reports out of the south of France of celebrities being dead that are actually still alive.