Friday, February 13, 2009

The notificator

Tonight, about an hour ago, a Continental commuter plane apparently crashed near Buffalo. I know this because I got a "Breaking News email" from CNN at 12:12am (2/13/09).

However, there were tweets about this incident almost immediately. The first one I've found was this one from KeithBurtis who lives a few houses away.

That's a full hour before the story broke nationally. Keith's current tweet is that he is about to interviewed on MSNBC.

The local news (TV and print) were on the story in about 20 minutes and after less than an hour there's pictures, photos and information.

But for sheer on the ground descriptions of what was happening - street closings, two houses on fire etc, the color commentary and newsgathering on Twitter is far richer than anything you could get through traditional means.

I understand there was similar "reporting" in the Mumbai attacks last Fall.

There is an expensive news feed service based in New Jersey where some people monitor emergency radio and send out pages with anything unusual.

So much for that business model.

And, as Peter Kafka points out, the day is coming when someone is twittering from the scene of some disaster and in doing so broadcasts the last minutes of his life.

1 comment:

  1. I have nearly the same view as you outside my hotel room. I'm down here on business from Buffalo. Heard about it on Twitter from several friends, started following @clarenceplanecrash and it's been keeping me sane. It is a whole new world in terms of communication.