About 2:50pm today, I felt an earthquake. Given that I was sitting in my office in Winston Salem, North Carolina, that was pretty bizzare. But I also realized the immediate, personal power of Twitter. I popped open Tweetdeck and posted that I felt an earthquake in Winston Salem, NC. I felt odd doing that – because the idea of an earthquake in Winston Salem… is like the thought of a purple elephant. If I saw one, I’d be reluctant to tell anyone, because the very idea of a purple elephant is a bit unnerving and surreal.
Of course, I immediately found that there WAS an earthquake, centered in Virginia, maybe 75 or 100 miles north of where Im at. I didn’t learn it by the weather channel, or weather.com, or the local news. I learned it by the FLOOD of tweets in my twitter stream. Reports of tremors were flying across my tweet-stream from Ohio, Atlanta, NYC and even others from Winston Salem. I looked for Google Realtime, which I hadn’t used in several weeks – only to find it had been disabled.
The interesting thing is that I realized the value of Twitter - To me, Twitter = REAL TIME news. If I need to know something NOW, it is my personal source. Twitter circa 2011 = CNN circa 1990.
That is amazing value and power. Will Twitter EVER really maximize that?