Sunday, April 04, 2010

California quake - brought to you by Twitter

So as most folks on the continent now know, Mexico, Southern California and Arizona were shaken by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake earlier this evening.

Or do they?

Whenever a given news event is significant enough, many of us will almost automatically remember where we were when we first heard it. Because the very media that inform us are in an accelerating state of flux, we also remember how we heard it.

To wit, radio and newspapers dominated coverage of the end of World War II. By the time Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, it was television's turn to shine as the world's emergent medium of record. Many Internauts first heard of Diana Princess of Wales's death in September 1997 via the Web. These days, Web 2.0 is rewriting the rules and shifting our collective attention yet again. As a result, events like tonight's earthquake often break not via traditional media, but via Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

Every medium has its moment. One wonders if Twitter is having its moment now. And whether this means it'll still be our first line of recognition a few years down the road.

Your turn: Where did you first hear about this quake? What does that tell you about media today?

10 comments:

Mel Fraase said...

Umm... it was all you today!! I guess I'm heading over to the news channel now!!

Michael Manning said...

Hi Carmi: I was at dinner with five other friends here in Arizona. One person brought up the subject and only one person at the dinner table reported feeling the quake.

~jill said...

I live in Southern California so I found out about it when the table started rockin' and rollin'. I got the details from CNN on twitter before the local news channels cut in with updates.

chris said...

I'm in SoCal, I was at my computer the time it hit and immediately twittered and Facebooked it while it occured. Guilty as charged. ;)

Star said...

We were celebrating Easter and everyone's phone buzzed at the same time. It was a text from my brother -in -law. It beat the local news break in by minutes.

Nikki-ann said...

I heard it on the BBC News TV channel this morning.

Goddess said...

I heard it on Twitter. I told my son, "there was an earthquake in Baja - just now." He said, "Twitter?" I said, "Yep."

Mama Zen said...

I heard on CNN.

sealaura said...

I tweeted about it while it was happening because I happened to be lesson planning. The dining room table shook and both Norman and Newman looked at me. i needed confirmation from all of my SoCal tweeps!

Catherine said...

Actually, I hadn't heard about it at all until I read about it on your blog. Maybe after Haiti and Chile, the newspapers here don't bother unless it is really big. Although 7.2 sounds big enough.
I don't usually remember where I was when big events happen. Time zones are such that most world events happen while we are asleep in New Zealand. So it would be generally either in the morning newspaper, or before my son moved out, he would often tell me as he used a radio alarm clock - the TV got turned on for the Twin Towers and for Princess Diana's death because he heard on the radio. Sounds very old fashioned! I don't do Facebook or twitter at all.