Just last week, HubSpot, a Boston-based Internet marketing firm, released a report which stated that micro-blogging platform Twitter gains 5,000 to 10,000 new users every day. Given the recent use of Twitter in discussing major events such as the recent attacks in Mumbai and Gaza, it is unsurprising to see such growth.
Governments have also been using Twitter for quite some time. The U.S. government operates a number of Twitter accounts (including @USAGov, @TheWhiteHouse, and @NASA), with other countries’ governments sure to follow. This afternoon, in the midst of the Israel-Gaza conflict, the Israeli Consulate of New York set up a Twitter account. Its first tweet read:
Shortly afterward, the consulate announced its intent to hold a citizens “press” conference on Tuesday, December 30, from 1-3 pm EST:
The conference presents a unique, never-before-seen opportunity for a government to create an open platform for global discussion during a time of crisis. Twitter users are able to send questions during the conference, and follow the discussion by using the #AskIsrael hashtag. The face behind the consulate's Twitter account is David Saranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs for Israel in the United States.
Twitter users have already begun to ask questions. gyokusai, based in Germany, asks:
Details about the press conference can be found on the consulate's blog.