How Many Twitter Followers Do You Get Covering a Huge Global Event Live?

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At Julian Assange's bail hearing in London this morning, two reporters live-tweeted the event. Seeing as it was a global media event and an even bigger technology-related media event, I wondered what they might get out of it. That is to say, how many new followers do you get tweeting something huge and global.

Luckily, Nature's Joerg Heber happened to have their just pre-tweeting totals. The Guardian's Rebecca Brooke (@newsbrooke) had 5,446 and the Times of London's Alexi Mostrous (@aleximostrous) had 1,319 followers.

After a couple hours of Tweeting, Mostrous has 3,929 and Brooke has 7,209 for net additions of 2,610 and 1,763, respectively.

Not bad, but maybe a good reminder that -- as fascinating as WikiLeaks has been and as large as Twitter can seem -- it's still small potatoes on the global scale.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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