La Dolce Twitta

Silent movies.
One of the greatest voices on Twitter is now silent.

Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Ebert has died. Many are sharing their thoughts about his life, his influence, and his legacy, but I want to take a brief moment to talk about what he did for Twitter.

When cancer stole his ability to talk, Mr. Ebert was able to continue to communicate with us through his journal. And his Twitter feed was an almost unceasing flow of links to his thoughts on everything from movies—of course—to politics, equality, and even humor.

He helped illustrate that if you’re careful, 140 characters could be even more powerful than 140 column inches. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to imply that every update from him was a defiant dispatch against the disease which eventually stopped them. Each was urgent. Each was important. Because it would have been almost impossible for him to speak with us otherwise.

I’ve always believed that Twitter can change lives. I think it always will. Mr. Ebert’s feed helps prove that to me. Take a look at it. Keep scrolling. Go back to the beginning. It’s absolutely fascinating. And it’s just the tip of the huge iceberg that is his online contribution

As the memorials start rolling in, there will be plenty more to read. I’ll be reading as many as these misty eyes can bear. All the while, wishing that I’ll be able to witness just one more update from @ebertchicago on the ‘morrow, on the Web.

Update: In its memorial for Mr. Ebert, Chicagoist used one of my updates.

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Author  Stephen R. Fox
Categories  "Roger Ebert"