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Twitter reports earthquake first

By Jimmy Orr / March 30, 2009

When a 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit northern California today, people on Twitter reported it first.

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Since we're newbies to Twitter and find it fascinating, we'll take a quick break from Rush Limbaugh celebrating Earth Hour by putting up Christmas lights and look at how people reacted in real time to a news event that happened in northern California.

By the way, if you're new to Twitter, it's a social networking tool that allows you to send out a quick message (140 characters) to your friends or whomever decides to "follow" you. There are loads of other websites that give you the opportunity to monitor trends on Twitter. Like what people are talking about.

Rumble

Today, people are talking about earthquakes.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a 4.3 quake occurred at 10:40 a.m. The US Geological Survey pinpointed the location at 11 miles north of Morgan Hill, seven miles east of Seven Trees and 16 miles east-southeast of San Jose's City Hall.

Who reported it first? None of the networks. None of the local news stations. Twitter ruled the day.

Where R U?

And much of the chatter that occurred immediately after the quake was centered on the media. As in, where were they?

Dozens of people, just like someone identified as Hezness said, "Someone should let CNN know there was an earthquake, may be more important than the Manson family's good prison behavior."

Others marveled at how quick Twitter was and how sluggish the mainstream media is.

Sigtau94: "Funny I hear about an Earthquake on Twitter before it hits the news."

heathermeeker: 4.4 earthquake in San Jose area. No news outlets reporting it yet, of course it breaks on Twitter first. Just like the one we had in LA.

jaweinberger: Amazed that Tweeple had the earthquake 3 minutes after it happened and Fox News and CNN still haven't covered it yet.

Music

What do you listen to while the earth is shaking?

Scottriggs asks, "What is your favorite song to hear during an earthquake? Mine: AC/DC - Shook Me All Night Long."

Ha!

Told you so, says David_ngo: "My coworkers thought i was crazy when i said, "Did you feel that earthquake?" but turns out...it WAS an earthquake. (i'm still crazy)"

Waddya do?

In the event of an emergency, you follow the drill. Right?

BeardyMcD says there's a new drill now. "A sign of the times. Our immediate response to the earthquake? Get in a doorway? Get under the desk? Nope. Check Twitter!"

Rim shot

Can you deadpan something on Twitter. Leonardstinks tried to: "Didn't feel the earthquake. I'm in NY."

Misskristarenee went for the comedy points too: It felt like a cat jumped on my bed... i was like: "wait... that was an earthquake... i don't have a cat"

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We don't have a cat either.  So follow us on Twitter! 

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