Twitter Reports on Hawaii Economy
This afternoon, the state Council on Revenues is giving a briefing on the state economy at the Hawaii State Capitol. And at least two people are Twittering from the briefing as it unfolds: Ian Lind (independent investigative journalist and blogger) and Georgette Deemer (Communications Director for the Hawaii House of Representatives and former state film commissioner). Dan Seto (Head of the Planning Division of the Hawaii State Judiciary) was watching the hearing live on 'Olelo (Channel 53).
I think this kind of Twitter reporting gives followers the best of both worlds: near live coverage, yet still "curated" -- they're listening for, picking out, and passing on juicy quotes and key nuggets of information. It's like watching a news story come together in real-time, a mix of live-blogging and crowdsourcing.
Of course, it helps that these three Twitter users are knowledgeable and articulate writers with media backgrounds. We could just as easily be reading tweets about the attendees shoes or bad hairpieces.
Unfortunately, while this reporting method is great, the news is pretty dire. Right now, UH Economics Professor Carl Bonham is presenting.
From Ian Lind:
Carl Bonham: California is the root of Hawaii's problem.
Bonham: Could be worst downturn since Great Depression.
Bonham: we've got too many California visitors (26%), where home prices in areas have fallen 50-60%.
The destruction of wealth is overwhelming, Bonham says.
Areas in California have 80% of homes with negative equity. "not a pretty picture," Bonham says.
"It's not clear why anyone's going to hop on a plane to Hawaii." Bonham
From Georgette Deemer:
2008/2009 places us in the deepest, longest recession since WW and maybe since Great Depression.
I think Dr. [Paul] Brewbaker said that we can expect the -3% to go down in March given the current risk factors.
From Dan Seto:
Bonham: It may not get worse, but it's not going to get better any time soon due to severe problems on West coast states.
[Sen. Donna] Mercado Kim: If we can't trust the economic forecast, what good/value is it? Bonham: Council should give range, rather than one number.
[Sen.] Mercado Kim: should we contract out forecasts? Bonham: can't answer but state does more than just the forecast.
[Rep. James] Tokioka: do you track your forecasts versus actual? Bonham: Yes, forecasts on average are accurate. But miss the swings (large changes).
No doubt we'll hear much more on tonight's TV news broadcasts and tomorrow's newspapers. But I think we got a fair sense of the overall story thanks to Twitter.