The latest shortcut to communication is called Twitter. Using a computer or smart phone, you can send or receive messages of fewer than 140 characters with the microblogging service Twitter, or get messages from groups of people you've chosen. President Barack Obama tweeted campaign updates in 2008, Iranian anti-government protestors used Twitter to organize massive rallies last summer, and fundraisers used Twitter to get out the word about supplies needed in Haiti following January's quake.
Twitter has also made its way into the performing arts world. London's Royal Shakespeare Company has made Twitter the center of a new production of "Romeo and Juliet." The Royal Opera House in London put on a Twitter opera last fall, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington gave audience members live program notes via Twitter during a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6.
In this week's Arts File on WQXR, WNYC's Kerry Nolan talks to Dave Itzkoff, a reporter on the Culture Desk of The New York Times, about the spaces where Twitter and the performing arts world collide. Click below to watch an excerpt from the world's first known Twitter opera, Twitterdammerung.