All the way up in New York, and even in Toronto, we at the Social Times felt the buildings shake. None of us were quite sure what it was. Google News was silent, even Facebook didn’t have a peep. Where do I go, for an immediate reaction and validation of whether it was an earthquake or not? It has to be a search of the term “earthquake” on Twitter. And yes, immediately, everyone on Twitter realized that the tremors had shaken the entire Eastern coast of North America. This pretty much underscores the power and importance of Twitter, even when it’s not helping rebel causes and starting government reform.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the future of Twitter. Our sister blog, AllTwitter, has been watching closely as some of the original founders and creatives have left the company for other pursuits, and many wonder how they’re ever going to turn a big profit. Those are, of course, important questions. But it’s also important to see that Twitter is an important, cultural forum. The voices of the many are carried in one place, and the search on Twitter is a real-time search of over a hundred million of users’ points of view.
But that’s all a macroscopic analysis. What it really does is answer questions like “Did anybody else just feel that?” And that’s what I was able to do on Twitter, and I quickly found my answer, and watched the mystery unfold. There will still be more to come as we find out what exactly happened, but if you’re interested in finding the answers first, head to Twitter. Sure, you have to sift through a lot of misinformation, but if you develop your personal filter, you’ll be able to learn a lot, fast. You also get a lot of person-on-the-street reactions, which is something that usually takes a while to see on television.