The notion of gatewatching is something I come across way too often on Facebook. So, what is gate watching for those who don’t know? Perhaps a less qualified version of journalism is an accurate answer. More specifically, gatewatching relies on ones ability to compose news stories in online environments. It involves quickly snapping up information often through online crowd sourced content.
Similar to citizen journalism, a gatewatcher relies on users to act as filters, presents articles which are released early and often, and also implement a short feedback loop.
What better example to draw on than that of the online frenzy of the recent 2016 The Bachelor Finale. The twitter feed in the heat of the finale… O. M. G. !
On the evening of Thursday 15th I had never seen the Bachelor plastered all over twitter in my life (and I’ve been watching the show for years).
Here are just a couple of snippets of the instantly generated gatewatched content. This content, produced in real time thanks to twitter and published within hours online helped form a very dynamic story. An interesting element about each article is that a lot of the opinions are formed off retrieved tweets. The principles of gatewatching like early and often release, short feedback loop and a ‘many to many’ distribution were very evident in the Bachelor posting frenzy. Click on the images if you actually want to read them.
Keep in mind that these have all been posted less than 24 hours after the show, plastered everywhere and all with very similar content. Churned out articles in the masses with a heavy reliance of tweets make this a fine example of gatewatching.