The power of social media #Melbourne #Earthquake June 19 2012 – The first announcements arrive on Twitter of course (via @Danconnors19) – trending worldwide soon after! Facebook posts basically the same time; Kudos to the I survived the June 19th Melbourne Earthquake Facebook Fan Page.
8:53pm – Awake with the wife, kids asleep, all on the 12th floor… room shakes… we looked at each other… “was that an earthquake?” Are we safe? First check; Twitter … confirmed; as well as our realisation on the power of social media to report news before it is ‘official’. This is a great case study… how far ahead is social media? Twitter and Facebook, of course being the first to report, basically the same minute the quake occurs, then hundreds of social media posts about the earthquake across Melbourne (some of them very entertaining) as the topic trends worldwide. The USGS follows with a profile report around 20 minutes later. (noting: Geoscience website obviously crashed from the excess traffic responding with connection errors). Official news updates followed on The Age 30 minutes later; TV news at 10:30pm
So for future reference; Twitter is around 20 minutes ahead of any confirmed report and over half an hour ahead of a ‘official’ news story. We know what to check first in a crisis situation (well aside from your common sense). Melbournite? We hope you survived the June 19th Quake!