Mr. Sylvester started twittering from the courtroom in early 2008, initially as a media experiment. “By the end of the trial we were getting a lot of reaction from readers,” he said. “People said they were sitting at work, refreshing the page over and over again to keep up with the trial.” (Not that any of us would admit to doing the same thing, but think of all the time he saves us from having to watch hours of Court TV).
Using a T-mobile Dash phone and a Bluetooth foldable keyboard and obtaining permission of the presiding judges (“I explain it as live blogging…one sentence at a time.” February 17, 2009 from txt), Mr. Sylvester sends updates to Twitter, using his Tweets as a form of note-taking to write the full print story later. It’s easy to understand why he has hundreds of followers with Tweets as follows:
Prosecutor: If you can't listen to both sides, you shouldn't be here. Juror: "I'm ready to go right now!" Even the judge laughed. 09:50 AM May 08, 2008 from txt
One juror forgot to turn off his cell phone. Ring tone: “Carry on My Wayward Son,” by Kansas (1976). 09:38 AM May 12, 2008 from txt
And the “Tweet goes on” as Mr. Sylvester tweeted today from a racketeering trial:
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten: “Twitter is on.” I will be tweeting from trial of accused Crips gang members in federal court.”
Anyone need a courtroom Tweeter in North Carolina? I’ve got some vacation time…