Tweeting the vomitzvah

By » Wed, February 22 2012
1985146129 f534965b33 450x337 Tweeting the vomitzvah

Politeness is our watchword. (img by passiveaggressivenotes)

It’s becoming common for first responses to fast-moving crises—terrorist acts, emergencies, natural disasters—to arrive over fast-moving social-media channels. Social media was critical in the aftermath of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in eastern Turkey in October, where survivors used Twitter to let people know they were alive. During the Virginia Tech shooting in December, the Twitter feed of school newspaper the Collegiate Times kept students aware of police activity on campus, including when the SWAT team announced there were no suspicious people inside the Student Centre building.

Read the whole article at Wired.

Social media and direct quick messaging can be used to promote mayhem as well, as RIM is finding out in the aftermath of last year’s London riots.

Quick and ubiquitous comms can democratize first response and enable people to make decisions for themselves far more quickly than traditional broadcast media. If a zillion people in Seattle started tweeting about how they were all getting sick, I would definitely consider changing my patterns. I’ll admit that my take is pretty decidedly one-way: read about something, act differently.

I’m not sure, though, how I’d sort signal from noise, or decide who to listen to… and I certainly can’t imagine skulking through an apocalyptic city paying tons of attention to a cell phone screen, but until someone invents inter-ocular HUDs and live data feeds, I’ll have to make do.

Have any readers used Twitter or some other super-short broadcast medium to organize an impromptu event? I’d love to hear about it.

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