Saturday, 17 January 2009

New York plane crash: Reporting power of Internet and blogging

Iconic image of New York plane crash

Telegraph - New York plane crash: Twitter breaks the news, again

Within minutes of US Airways flight 1549 ditching in New York's Hudson river, the blogosphere was buzzing with the news. Emails, Twitter messages, mobile phone photos and hazy videos about the crash flitted across cyberspace. Some reassured friends and loved ones that all was well; others simply documented the unfolding drama as all 155 passengers and crew made their way to safety using the jet's inflatable emergency chutes.

Twitter, the increasingly popular microblogging service, was, as ever, leading the pack. When dozens of New York-based Twitter users started sending 'tweets' about a possible plane crash in the city, the news spread like wildfire across the Twitterverse. Indeed, Twitter users broke the news of the incident around 15 minutes before the mainstream media alerted viewers and readers to the crash. The first recorded tweet about the crash came from Jim Hanrahan, aka Manolantern, four minutes after the plane went down, who wrote: "I just watched a plane crash into the hudson riv [sic] in manhattan".

And it wasn't just text messages that were telling the story; photos, too, were playing their part. Twitter user and iPhone owner Janis Krums was on one of the New York commuter ferries diverted to pick up the stranded airline passengers. He used his mobile phone to take a dramatic snap of the downed plane, and uploaded it to TwitPic, a service that enables Twitter users to instantly share their snaps over Twitter. "There's a plane in the Hudson," Krums tweeted . "I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy."

His dramatic image was instantly forwarded across the Twitterverse and picked up by numerous blogs and news websites, causing the TwitPic service to crash under the sheer weight of user numbers. Noah Everett, TwitPic's founder, said it showed the powerful "snowball effect" of social media. [...]

See also - LA Times - Citizen photo of Hudson River plane crash shows Web's reporting power

*source of photo

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