Mexico City Earthquake, reported on Twitter first

How did I find out about the Mexico City Earthquake? On Twitter. As soon as people started reporting it on Twitter, I looked at the USGS maps. The Twitterers beat the USGS by several minutes. But now USGS Is reporting somewhere around a 5 to 6.0.

andresb my whole apartment creaked and bent a little half a minute ago from twitterrific

andresb The strongest tremor I’ve felt since I’m here

BioXD Acaba de temblar :S….estuvo muy fuerte 1 minute ago from web

andresb woooooow, earthquake in Mexico City

CyberMJ75 Damn! Just experienced an earthquake. That sucker lasted some minutes.

paranoideo Very strong earthquake in Mexico City, paranoideo.com is reporting live (:P)

earcos Very strong earthquake in Mexico City, VivirMexico.com is reporting live (in spanish, sorry)

Satrina Earthquake in Mexico City, was long and a little bit strong

dotmotion That was a hell of an earthquake.. and I’m on a 7th floor… I still feel sick

rogeriogal Earthquake in Cuernavaca, just passed. I’m still dizzy.

trisignia wow, earthquake in Mexico City…my first ever

helmi Mexico earthquake now on german news tv

robblatt Earthquake still not on cnn.com (at approx. 11:10 p.m. Pacific)

Later…

GraceD mexico earthquake reports coming in on Google News: http://tinyurl.com/yqxakr

A Web report of timeline (in Spanish). I had a report up on my blog within about three minutes after the quake was felt thanks to my more than 3,000 friends I’m following on Twitter. I immediately started watching Twitter Search, which lets you look at stuff in almost real time, which is how I found some of these reports. I also put TwitterVision up on a screen here to see any other real-time reports.

UPDATE: Chris Pirillo has a live video call going on right now and is urging Mexico City residents to call in and tell him what they felt had a live video call. Mike Doeff recorded part of it where @Earcos from Mexico City is on a video call with him.

I just learned of a new Twitter service called Twitterment. Here’s a page that shows Twitters that mentioned Mexico along with some trends of same.

Comments

  1. Twitter Temblor

    Count me in, too. A major earthquake has just struck Mexico City, and, like prominent blogger Robert Scoble, I heard the news first through Twitter, the relatively new instant message, mini-blog service. Twitter was alive with reports moments after t…

  2. Absolutely correct – this is very significant. Twitter in disaster situations, for rescue and recovery. What if we had this in the Katrina aftermath? My mind is spinning with the implications.

  3. Absolutely correct – this is very significant. Twitter in disaster situations, for rescue and recovery. What if we had this in the Katrina aftermath? My mind is spinning with the implications.

  4. And I thought no one here in Mexico City was using Twitter! :-) Jack from Obvious said that no cell providers here would carry the SMS messages, but I didn’t realize so many people were using the web interface…

    This is awesome–and a little bit bizarre–watching live web news coverage here and elsewhere as we’re waiting for any aftershocks…

    -Jacob

  5. And I thought no one here in Mexico City was using Twitter! :-) Jack from Obvious said that no cell providers here would carry the SMS messages, but I didn’t realize so many people were using the web interface…

    This is awesome–and a little bit bizarre–watching live web news coverage here and elsewhere as we’re waiting for any aftershocks…

    -Jacob

  6. WTF!!!!! I live in Mexico, and I know about the earthquake for Scoble? what a strange world…….

  7. WTF!!!!! I live in Mexico, and I know about the earthquake for Scoble? what a strange world…….

  8. [...] A estas alturas seguramente ya lo sabréis: terremoto en Mexico, intensidad 6.3 grados, aún se están evaluando daños. A través de dónde se enteraba uno tradicionalmente de estas cosas? ¿La tele? ¿La radio? ¿La web? Pues no… ahora, donde te enteras de las cosas exactamente en el momento en el que suceden es… ¡en Twitter! Como los casi 500 followers de mi amigo Eduardo Arcos y, me imagino, como otros muchos seguidores de otros usuarios que estuviesen en la zona, la ventanita de Twitter nos hizo saber que había un terremoto prácticamente en el instante en que estaba ocurriendo. Y no he sido ni el único en enterarme, ni el único en escribir sobre ello… [...]

  9. Twittering the Mexico City Earthquake

    The first tremor here woke us up at about one, and I didn’t know what was going on until the second one hit, shaking us as we stumbled for our clothes. The earthquake sent us down the stairs and out into the street, waiting, waiting to go back i…

  10. Video of Chris Pirillo getting rolling tonight. Another video clip of his live video link with a blogger in Mexico City is still coming:

    The geekfest overshadowed the earthquake, frankly, but it was a good dry run for the next, perhaps more local, emergency.

  11. Video of Chris Pirillo getting rolling tonight. Another video clip of his live video link with a blogger in Mexico City is still coming:

    The geekfest overshadowed the earthquake, frankly, but it was a good dry run for the next, perhaps more local, emergency.

  12. well, i am in the state zone of Mexico City and i can say that it was a 3-5 minutes long earthquake.

    it does felt like a low intensity earthquake and then for a whole minute it doubled it´s intensity, i noticed it while i was uploading music to my zune.. :P

    and, i am amazed by how chris pirillo took this and runned with it…

    also amazaed how it was first reported on twitter barely a minute after it happened…

    well, this usre shows the potential of twitter besides it´s normal use..

  13. well, i am in the state zone of Mexico City and i can say that it was a 3-5 minutes long earthquake.

    it does felt like a low intensity earthquake and then for a whole minute it doubled it´s intensity, i noticed it while i was uploading music to my zune.. :P

    and, i am amazed by how chris pirillo took this and runned with it…

    also amazaed how it was first reported on twitter barely a minute after it happened…

    well, this usre shows the potential of twitter besides it´s normal use..

  14. Der Nutzen von Twitter — Breaking News

    So, da soll sich noch einmal jemand über den Sinn, Nutzen und Zweck von Twitter auslassen. Das Erdbeben der letzten Nacht in Mexico City wurde als allererstes wo — nämlich auf Twitter gemeldet! Sogar…

  15. Much a-twitter about nothing.
    (AP) via CBS:
    “Civil defense officials in Mexico and the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, where the quake was centered, said there were no reports of any deaths, serious injuries or major damage.”

  16. Much a-twitter about nothing.
    (AP) via CBS:
    “Civil defense officials in Mexico and the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, where the quake was centered, said there were no reports of any deaths, serious injuries or major damage.”

  17. As requested, Robert, here’s part two of the video, documenting the frantic, geeky build up to Pirillo as he makes “internet history.”

    It was a trip “being there” as it happened!

  18. As requested, Robert, here’s part two of the video, documenting the frantic, geeky build up to Pirillo as he makes “internet history.”

    It was a trip “being there” as it happened!

  19. Robert: Your point was that Twitter got news out before the USGS. My point is that beyond “earthquake in Mexico City” there was no useful or reliable information. And the view from 24 hours later is that it was much ado about (almost) nothing.

  20. Robert: Your point was that Twitter got news out before the USGS. My point is that beyond “earthquake in Mexico City” there was no useful or reliable information. And the view from 24 hours later is that it was much ado about (almost) nothing.

  21. Ah, the magic of twitter. I’m still getting over the jollies of it all (I just joined recently) but this is pretty amazing.

  22. Ah, the magic of twitter. I’m still getting over the jollies of it all (I just joined recently) but this is pretty amazing.

  23. Well, based on Scoble’s glowing recommendation, I guess we can just chuck out all the ERS/911/NIMS and hospitalish PERS systems and use this Web 2.0 Rubyish app…and while we are at it, I guess no need for the ANSS (Advanced National Seismic System), and the GSN (Global Seismographic Network)…wheee. Hope it scales during a real disaster.

    And btw, the USGS is more of the predictive nature, what for good is a GS that tells you after, expect for data analysis purposes? As around eight faults in the Bay Area are capable of producing earthquakes of 6.0 magnitude or greater. Glad Twitter is there for me.

  24. Well, based on Scoble’s glowing recommendation, I guess we can just chuck out all the ERS/911/NIMS and hospitalish PERS systems and use this Web 2.0 Rubyish app…and while we are at it, I guess no need for the ANSS (Advanced National Seismic System), and the GSN (Global Seismographic Network)…wheee. Hope it scales during a real disaster.

    And btw, the USGS is more of the predictive nature, what for good is a GS that tells you after, expect for data analysis purposes? As around eight faults in the Bay Area are capable of producing earthquakes of 6.0 magnitude or greater. Glad Twitter is there for me.

  25. It would make a lot more sense if there was a searchable single place where survivors could twitter that they are ok. Short, sweet, and not too bandwidth intensive.

    But there is an issue as well:

    In the event of a *real* event where some percentage of infrastructure is destroyed, existing cellular and internet bandwidth will be at a real premium for survivors and first responders.

    It’s seems from your response that somehow well intentioned bloggers now will be racing to be the reporting outlet for emergencies. Lets all admit that some of it is to help and is for bragging rights or techmeme or whatever. However, whatever bandwidth that exists after a real emergency will have to shared with all of our beloved real time blogging A-Listers jumping on the bandwagon with live video, skype calls, and twitters…

    I’ve been in 3 major earthquakes (Seattle, Tokyo ’89, and Costa Rica ’91)…real help doesn’t arrive for most in minutes or even hours after a major catastrophe. It’s a “days” and “weeks” measurement – look at Katrina. I’m actually more impressed by the speed of USGS online response to which you give very little credit. Reading the twitters has little value beyond “possible eartquake” – the USGS was essentially just as fast online with exponentially more accurate information, weren’t they?

  26. It would make a lot more sense if there was a searchable single place where survivors could twitter that they are ok. Short, sweet, and not too bandwidth intensive.

    But there is an issue as well:

    In the event of a *real* event where some percentage of infrastructure is destroyed, existing cellular and internet bandwidth will be at a real premium for survivors and first responders.

    It’s seems from your response that somehow well intentioned bloggers now will be racing to be the reporting outlet for emergencies. Lets all admit that some of it is to help and is for bragging rights or techmeme or whatever. However, whatever bandwidth that exists after a real emergency will have to shared with all of our beloved real time blogging A-Listers jumping on the bandwagon with live video, skype calls, and twitters…

    I’ve been in 3 major earthquakes (Seattle, Tokyo ’89, and Costa Rica ’91)…real help doesn’t arrive for most in minutes or even hours after a major catastrophe. It’s a “days” and “weeks” measurement – look at Katrina. I’m actually more impressed by the speed of USGS online response to which you give very little credit. Reading the twitters has little value beyond “possible eartquake” – the USGS was essentially just as fast online with exponentially more accurate information, weren’t they?

  27. forsale #41: I agree. Twitter isn’t the only resource online. It’s how we share information in the first minutes after a news event. There wasn’t ANY news on Google News for 30 minutes after the earthquake.

    Ryan #43: SMS stayed up in Katrina. Voice didn’t. SMS stayed up largely during 9/11 in New York. Voice got jammed.

  28. forsale #41: I agree. Twitter isn’t the only resource online. It’s how we share information in the first minutes after a news event. There wasn’t ANY news on Google News for 30 minutes after the earthquake.

    Ryan #43: SMS stayed up in Katrina. Voice didn’t. SMS stayed up largely during 9/11 in New York. Voice got jammed.

  29. Nobody wants to toss out the existing disaster data coordinating and relief structures. This “dry run” simply tells us how we can harness web tools for citizen response and news gathering.

    What if someone on Twitter reported the huge earthquake that triggered the Indonesian tsunami? And people reading that Tweet in low lying coastal areas vulnerable to tsunamis heeded that message and spread the word to get to higher ground? I recall that there was a span of 2 hours to get that warning out, but governments in the affected areas lacked a well coordinated system to set a warning in motion. Perhaps there were emails exchanged that did get through, but that’s a one-on-one communication. Twitter, however, is multi-channel, many to many.

    Twitter is not perfect as a be-all, end-all disaster warning system, or even as a news wire, but it’s there for the resourceful.

  30. Nobody wants to toss out the existing disaster data coordinating and relief structures. This “dry run” simply tells us how we can harness web tools for citizen response and news gathering.

    What if someone on Twitter reported the huge earthquake that triggered the Indonesian tsunami? And people reading that Tweet in low lying coastal areas vulnerable to tsunamis heeded that message and spread the word to get to higher ground? I recall that there was a span of 2 hours to get that warning out, but governments in the affected areas lacked a well coordinated system to set a warning in motion. Perhaps there were emails exchanged that did get through, but that’s a one-on-one communication. Twitter, however, is multi-channel, many to many.

    Twitter is not perfect as a be-all, end-all disaster warning system, or even as a news wire, but it’s there for the resourceful.

  31. Neat observation, but my only question here is – what’s the *real* significance? A user posted to Twitter “a few minutes” before the web site was updated? That user could have also blogged about it and that would have had the same impact.

    The thing that is actually more impressive here is that USGS was updated within minutes of it occurring!

  32. Neat observation, but my only question here is – what’s the *real* significance? A user posted to Twitter “a few minutes” before the web site was updated? That user could have also blogged about it and that would have had the same impact.

    The thing that is actually more impressive here is that USGS was updated within minutes of it occurring!

  33. Twitter as a warning system? And how will people know without communication from the same government sources and I’m sure that everyone will be checking those every day. Also with some @all twitter address to globally send such warning, there would be absolutely no potential for abuse there, would there? who would control it? the government?

    Twitter as an post disater resource? We cant even compare this to HAM radio. HAM provides resources, assistance, and bandwidth that is in addition to and separate from local resources. They also have dedicated nets reserved solely for emergencies.

    In a real emergency, you’ll not only have higher than normal outgoing cell/internet connections from those impacted (“I’m safe” meesages) but you’ll also have an incremental number of incoming connections from loved ones as well as first responder traffic. But wait, whatever bandwidth remains must also contend with connections of bloggers with relatively high bandwidth video and skpe connections. Most of these well intentioned bloggers will have no knowledge of local connectivity limitations or the situation on the ground in the initial minutes.

    If I recall correctly from Seattle, local authorities were trying to get people to NOT use their cell phones to free up connectivity.

    Encouraging twitters, bloggers, and skpe users for what will largely become the amateur news hour will be consuming a percentage of undamaged cell/internet resources actually needed to help. The ultimate irony is that it will likely deny the same percentage of impacted survivors the chance to communicate in a meaningful way in the interest of little tangible value-add beyond voyuerism (and thats what at least some high percentage of the interest level here really seems to be).

    Sorry to say, but, in my book, there are WAY better uses for whatever SMS or voice resources that remain than worrying about filling a 30 minute Google news void.

  34. Twitter as a warning system? And how will people know without communication from the same government sources and I’m sure that everyone will be checking those every day. Also with some @all twitter address to globally send such warning, there would be absolutely no potential for abuse there, would there? who would control it? the government?

    Twitter as an post disater resource? We cant even compare this to HAM radio. HAM provides resources, assistance, and bandwidth that is in addition to and separate from local resources. They also have dedicated nets reserved solely for emergencies.

    In a real emergency, you’ll not only have higher than normal outgoing cell/internet connections from those impacted (“I’m safe” meesages) but you’ll also have an incremental number of incoming connections from loved ones as well as first responder traffic. But wait, whatever bandwidth remains must also contend with connections of bloggers with relatively high bandwidth video and skpe connections. Most of these well intentioned bloggers will have no knowledge of local connectivity limitations or the situation on the ground in the initial minutes.

    If I recall correctly from Seattle, local authorities were trying to get people to NOT use their cell phones to free up connectivity.

    Encouraging twitters, bloggers, and skpe users for what will largely become the amateur news hour will be consuming a percentage of undamaged cell/internet resources actually needed to help. The ultimate irony is that it will likely deny the same percentage of impacted survivors the chance to communicate in a meaningful way in the interest of little tangible value-add beyond voyuerism (and thats what at least some high percentage of the interest level here really seems to be).

    Sorry to say, but, in my book, there are WAY better uses for whatever SMS or voice resources that remain than worrying about filling a 30 minute Google news void.

  35. Jeremy: blogs are too disperse to really compare notes in a rapid-style fashion within seconds of an event like this with dozens of people. I wouldn’t have seen stuff like this come through my RSS aggregator for maybe hours. Way too slow for rapid-moving news.

  36. Jeremy: blogs are too disperse to really compare notes in a rapid-style fashion within seconds of an event like this with dozens of people. I wouldn’t have seen stuff like this come through my RSS aggregator for maybe hours. Way too slow for rapid-moving news.

  37. forsalebylocals: sorry, I disagree with you on a raft of things here.

    Ham Radio? Give me a break. I don’t even know anyone who has access to ham radio. And SMS doesn’t put strain on cell phone networks at all compared to voice calls.

    It might be voyerism on this event. But, what if Half Moon Bay is cut off from outside world and only SMS survives? Damn straight I’m going to Twitter an SOS to the world and I bet someone hears it.

  38. forsalebylocals: sorry, I disagree with you on a raft of things here.

    Ham Radio? Give me a break. I don’t even know anyone who has access to ham radio. And SMS doesn’t put strain on cell phone networks at all compared to voice calls.

    It might be voyerism on this event. But, what if Half Moon Bay is cut off from outside world and only SMS survives? Damn straight I’m going to Twitter an SOS to the world and I bet someone hears it.

  39. “Ham Radio? Give me a break. I don’t even know anyone who has access to ham radio.”

    Its a really good thing that others are taking up the heavy lifting on volunteer emergency response for you despite your ignorance as to their existence:

    http://www.half-moon-bay.ca.us/POLDEPT-ARES.htm

    “I’m going to Twitter an SOS to the world and I bet someone hears it.”

    yep, and? Assuming that you could get through, other than priority because you are Scoble, what specific response or resources would you expect twitter pals to provide from any other resources trying to work their way into the area? Hearing your twitter is one thing…having an actionable response is another.

  40. “Ham Radio? Give me a break. I don’t even know anyone who has access to ham radio.”

    Its a really good thing that others are taking up the heavy lifting on volunteer emergency response for you despite your ignorance as to their existence:

    http://www.half-moon-bay.ca.us/POLDEPT-ARES.htm

    “I’m going to Twitter an SOS to the world and I bet someone hears it.”

    yep, and? Assuming that you could get through, other than priority because you are Scoble, what specific response or resources would you expect twitter pals to provide from any other resources trying to work their way into the area? Hearing your twitter is one thing…having an actionable response is another.

  41. forsalebylocals: send food and whisky! Of course!

    I guess you don’t see any value in CNN reporting on earthquakes either, right? Gotta leave it to the geeks with a ham radio in their cars. How many people have ham radios in the Bay Area? I don’t think I’ve met anyone with a ham radio in years.

  42. forsalebylocals: send food and whisky! Of course!

    I guess you don’t see any value in CNN reporting on earthquakes either, right? Gotta leave it to the geeks with a ham radio in their cars. How many people have ham radios in the Bay Area? I don’t think I’ve met anyone with a ham radio in years.

  43. Again, forsalebylocals, nobody wants to replace the established communication networks for disaster response.

    Yes, Twitter and Twitter like tools, would have been a welcome addition to the lines of communications used during Hurricane Katrina. A group of us ran a surprisingly successful relief blog post-Katrina. Through a coordinated effort involving a network of people on the ground in Mississippi, participants on online chatrooms and bulletin boards and Ham/CB radio operators, we were able to accomplish more than we ever hoped to achieve. For example, through our network, we were able to initiate recovery efforts and get supplies into areas before FEMA and Red Cross.

    Of note was the integration of these different channels and the mutual appreciation between users of each entity. Ham operators were digging on the web connections. Online folks remembered the coolness of Ham/CB operations. People on the ground included folks from faith based relief efforts, who previously had no idea what a blog was, and they were startled and pleased with how a blog post could bring in supplies, volunteers and donations to the victims they served.

  44. Again, forsalebylocals, nobody wants to replace the established communication networks for disaster response.

    Yes, Twitter and Twitter like tools, would have been a welcome addition to the lines of communications used during Hurricane Katrina. A group of us ran a surprisingly successful relief blog post-Katrina. Through a coordinated effort involving a network of people on the ground in Mississippi, participants on online chatrooms and bulletin boards and Ham/CB radio operators, we were able to accomplish more than we ever hoped to achieve. For example, through our network, we were able to initiate recovery efforts and get supplies into areas before FEMA and Red Cross.

    Of note was the integration of these different channels and the mutual appreciation between users of each entity. Ham operators were digging on the web connections. Online folks remembered the coolness of Ham/CB operations. People on the ground included folks from faith based relief efforts, who previously had no idea what a blog was, and they were startled and pleased with how a blog post could bring in supplies, volunteers and donations to the victims they served.

  45. On Robert’s SOS from forsalebylocals:

    “Hearing your twitter is one thing…having an actionable response is another.”

    It can happen very easily. I live south of the Scobles in Santa Cruz, CA. My network – family, friends, our kids’ friends – would have been activated as soon as we got the SOS. As locals, we know the backroads, some of us have ATV (our kids’ friends) if the roads were blocked. I know people with access to aircraft.

    Of course, it requires constant vigilence on Twitter, but that’s why it’s helpful to have a sizeable Twitter “friends” list, and, even better, a large group of “followers”, or at least some folks who could trigger a chain of alerts – Maryam and Robert need help in Half Moon Bay. GraceD lives in Santa Cruz, so and so lives in Palo Alto, call/email/IM/Twitter them.

    Heck, why not? And, yeah, I’d get them snacks and booze (recalling being in the ’89 Loma Prieta earthquake and really enjoying the cold beer as I cleaned up the mess in my house).

  46. On Robert’s SOS from forsalebylocals:

    “Hearing your twitter is one thing…having an actionable response is another.”

    It can happen very easily. I live south of the Scobles in Santa Cruz, CA. My network – family, friends, our kids’ friends – would have been activated as soon as we got the SOS. As locals, we know the backroads, some of us have ATV (our kids’ friends) if the roads were blocked. I know people with access to aircraft.

    Of course, it requires constant vigilence on Twitter, but that’s why it’s helpful to have a sizeable Twitter “friends” list, and, even better, a large group of “followers”, or at least some folks who could trigger a chain of alerts – Maryam and Robert need help in Half Moon Bay. GraceD lives in Santa Cruz, so and so lives in Palo Alto, call/email/IM/Twitter them.

    Heck, why not? And, yeah, I’d get them snacks and booze (recalling being in the ’89 Loma Prieta earthquake and really enjoying the cold beer as I cleaned up the mess in my house).

  47. Robert: Nice redirect but CNN has their own satellite feeds, generators, etc. that have little reliance on local cell/internet infrastructure. Even local news have many of these resources. True, they are all competing for eyeballs like any media based business but the difference is that they tend to provide their own resources and infrastructure, unlike some A-List bogger trying to make it to the top of Techmeme on the resources of impacted disaster victims.

    Ham radio never was the point, encouraging additional, non-value producing burdens on potentially strained infrastructure at critical times is.

    I’m not a ham radio guy and just used it as an example. Your response about not knowing anyone with a ham radio only demonstrates that you should get outside of your echo chamber a bit more. Thank god you aren’t actually responsible for anything important or where people’s lives are at stake. Your comments also do nothing to diminish the credibility and actual long history that those guys have in providing real emergency services on a completely volunteer basis. Some people actually do good things without being attention whores.

    Grace: Understand with your post about Katrina. I’m in complete agreement with the longer term benefits of blogging after a disaster and other forms of communication. But, obviously, realizing those benefits took time and were likely in association with other more formal disaster responses.

    Robert posted as if twitter would make some tangible difference in the first minutes or hours of a disaster. My point is that the use of infrastructure in the first hours after a disaster are served by better uses than Twitter and bloggers trying to get to the top of Techmeme. As far as your second post, perhaps others more close to you might need your assistance first. Unless, of course, you need the links later on… :P

  48. Robert: Nice redirect but CNN has their own satellite feeds, generators, etc. that have little reliance on local cell/internet infrastructure. Even local news have many of these resources. True, they are all competing for eyeballs like any media based business but the difference is that they tend to provide their own resources and infrastructure, unlike some A-List bogger trying to make it to the top of Techmeme on the resources of impacted disaster victims.

    Ham radio never was the point, encouraging additional, non-value producing burdens on potentially strained infrastructure at critical times is.

    I’m not a ham radio guy and just used it as an example. Your response about not knowing anyone with a ham radio only demonstrates that you should get outside of your echo chamber a bit more. Thank god you aren’t actually responsible for anything important or where people’s lives are at stake. Your comments also do nothing to diminish the credibility and actual long history that those guys have in providing real emergency services on a completely volunteer basis. Some people actually do good things without being attention whores.

    Grace: Understand with your post about Katrina. I’m in complete agreement with the longer term benefits of blogging after a disaster and other forms of communication. But, obviously, realizing those benefits took time and were likely in association with other more formal disaster responses.

    Robert posted as if twitter would make some tangible difference in the first minutes or hours of a disaster. My point is that the use of infrastructure in the first hours after a disaster are served by better uses than Twitter and bloggers trying to get to the top of Techmeme. As far as your second post, perhaps others more close to you might need your assistance first. Unless, of course, you need the links later on… :P

  49. forsalebylocals: the people who posted about the earthquake were NOT trying to get on top of TechMeme. I don’t think they even realized that I was taking their tweets and put them on my blog.

    But, the rest of your post makes it pretty clear you can only see the ego part of this and not the actual connective power of it.

    So, go with your ham radio and your CNN satellite truck. In the 1989 earthquake those folks didn’t get to parts of the Santa Cruz Mountains (which is where some of the worst damage happened) for days cause they couldn’t move their equipment up damaged roads (and didn’t know that there was severe damage up there anyway until residents started hiking down to the valley). How do I know that? My friends were there and didn’t see any help arrive for days while CNN was focused on the Marina district, the Bay Bridge, and the freeway collapse.

  50. forsalebylocals: the people who posted about the earthquake were NOT trying to get on top of TechMeme. I don’t think they even realized that I was taking their tweets and put them on my blog.

    But, the rest of your post makes it pretty clear you can only see the ego part of this and not the actual connective power of it.

    So, go with your ham radio and your CNN satellite truck. In the 1989 earthquake those folks didn’t get to parts of the Santa Cruz Mountains (which is where some of the worst damage happened) for days cause they couldn’t move their equipment up damaged roads (and didn’t know that there was severe damage up there anyway until residents started hiking down to the valley). How do I know that? My friends were there and didn’t see any help arrive for days while CNN was focused on the Marina district, the Bay Bridge, and the freeway collapse.

  51. Also, in 1989 it took six hours for my school paper to get a photo to a newspaper on the East Coast. Next time around it’ll take seconds. Why is that important? A good percentage of the news photos taken were done by amateurs. My camera store customers took several of the photos in the Mercury News. Next time around we’ll probably know a lot more about where the damage is in a disaster due to Twitter and other online media than even the authorities will know.

  52. Also, in 1989 it took six hours for my school paper to get a photo to a newspaper on the East Coast. Next time around it’ll take seconds. Why is that important? A good percentage of the news photos taken were done by amateurs. My camera store customers took several of the photos in the Mercury News. Next time around we’ll probably know a lot more about where the damage is in a disaster due to Twitter and other online media than even the authorities will know.

  53. Exactly how does one get these updates off Twitter??? I thought Twitter was mostly between people you know, so how do you get the info so quickly?? Just curious, haven’t played around with Twitter myself!

  54. Exactly how does one get these updates off Twitter??? I thought Twitter was mostly between people you know, so how do you get the info so quickly?? Just curious, haven’t played around with Twitter myself!

  55. Hey there, forsalebylocals -

    “As far as your second post, perhaps others more close to you might need your assistance first.”

    Well, I have a track record for helping others close to me first. In ’89, I walked down our street in Mountain View, carrying supplies for lighting (candles, camping lamps) and wielding my making sure the elderly folks on the block were okay, turning off gas valves when necessary.

    And our six kids will tell you that they’re the first on the visit/call list in an emergency. Whether they like it or not (the teen thinks she and her girlfriends could handle anything on their own. Mom says wrong.)

    Further to your hint that if diving into the redwood forest in an ATV to get to the Scobles would score me some link attention from the same, I say fine. I have some modest little ads on my blog that I use for fun money. The teen and I are always happy to see a surge in these funds used towards a good round of Target shopping or a manicure-pedicure session.

  56. Hey there, forsalebylocals -

    “As far as your second post, perhaps others more close to you might need your assistance first.”

    Well, I have a track record for helping others close to me first. In ’89, I walked down our street in Mountain View, carrying supplies for lighting (candles, camping lamps) and wielding my making sure the elderly folks on the block were okay, turning off gas valves when necessary.

    And our six kids will tell you that they’re the first on the visit/call list in an emergency. Whether they like it or not (the teen thinks she and her girlfriends could handle anything on their own. Mom says wrong.)

    Further to your hint that if diving into the redwood forest in an ATV to get to the Scobles would score me some link attention from the same, I say fine. I have some modest little ads on my blog that I use for fun money. The teen and I are always happy to see a surge in these funds used towards a good round of Target shopping or a manicure-pedicure session.

  57. Aseem: I have more than 3,000 friends. I use Twitterrific and watch that during the evening for people talking about fun stuff. You can use Twitter Search once you hear about something happening to find more people talking about it. Twitter’s public feed shows everyone. TwitterVision shows everyone, but live, and on a map so you know where they are located.

  58. Aseem: I have more than 3,000 friends. I use Twitterrific and watch that during the evening for people talking about fun stuff. You can use Twitter Search once you hear about something happening to find more people talking about it. Twitter’s public feed shows everyone. TwitterVision shows everyone, but live, and on a map so you know where they are located.

  59. Sorry, I meant to add in the third paragraph, third line -

    “wielding my gas turn off wrench”

    And, yes, I do know how to use it.

  60. Jeremy #46: A user posted to Twitter “a few minutes” before the web site was updated? That user could have also blogged about it and that would have had the same impact.

    A blog post takes more time to compose than a Tweet. Ten seconds vs. two minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it can make a difference. And Tweets are more “pushy” than blogs: There’s the RSS lag Robert notes, plus the SMS component (though few folks get Twitter updates on their phone). Twitter feeds seem to be pinged more frequently with tools like Twitteriffic, though that could be a downside from the server end.

    Rather than getting one Tweet for help, though, which does rely on a rich contact network, I think the power of Twitter can be in the numbers. The big numbers. A thousand canaries in the coal mine, to adapt a cliche.

    If one guy Tweets his house is rocking, it could get lost and ignored in the stream of “drinking coffee” and “reading Scoble” posts. But I can see some map and mass mashups that could pick up on a sudden flurry of Tweets in a given region to detect a major event. Fifty mentions of an earthquake would escalate things and catch more attention.

  61. Jeremy #46: A user posted to Twitter “a few minutes” before the web site was updated? That user could have also blogged about it and that would have had the same impact.

    A blog post takes more time to compose than a Tweet. Ten seconds vs. two minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it can make a difference. And Tweets are more “pushy” than blogs: There’s the RSS lag Robert notes, plus the SMS component (though few folks get Twitter updates on their phone). Twitter feeds seem to be pinged more frequently with tools like Twitteriffic, though that could be a downside from the server end.

    Rather than getting one Tweet for help, though, which does rely on a rich contact network, I think the power of Twitter can be in the numbers. The big numbers. A thousand canaries in the coal mine, to adapt a cliche.

    If one guy Tweets his house is rocking, it could get lost and ignored in the stream of “drinking coffee” and “reading Scoble” posts. But I can see some map and mass mashups that could pick up on a sudden flurry of Tweets in a given region to detect a major event. Fifty mentions of an earthquake would escalate things and catch more attention.

  62. Sorry, I meant to add in the third paragraph, third line -

    “wielding my gas turn off wrench”

    And, yes, I do know how to use it.

  63. http://www.digg.com/tech_news/Canada_Worse_than_3rd_World_Countries_when_it_comes_to_Mobile_Data_Access

    Nobody should ever wonder why so few Canadians have twitter accounts. I’m on Rogers fido with my RAZR and have been for over a year now.

    Had Mexico been Canada, you would have found out via Harry Potter Owl, instead of any mobile access communication.

    I made 2 short phone calls from Philadelphia and Florida in February and got a $250 bill from Rogers because I used the cingular network. My base fee is $20 and I made no other calls outside of the base plan.

    Rogers, the R stands for RAPE.

    No Twitter for me.

  64. http://www.digg.com/tech_news/Canada_Worse_than_3rd_World_Countries_when_it_comes_to_Mobile_Data_Access

    Nobody should ever wonder why so few Canadians have twitter accounts. I’m on Rogers fido with my RAZR and have been for over a year now.

    Had Mexico been Canada, you would have found out via Harry Potter Owl, instead of any mobile access communication.

    I made 2 short phone calls from Philadelphia and Florida in February and got a $250 bill from Rogers because I used the cingular network. My base fee is $20 and I made no other calls outside of the base plan.

    Rogers, the R stands for RAPE.

    No Twitter for me.

  65. Eh, I’m not sure why this is surprising or newsworthy.

    The USGS site is automatically updated but it does take a few minutes to gather data and do the calculations to find the epicenter and magnitude.

  66. Eh, I’m not sure why this is surprising or newsworthy.

    The USGS site is automatically updated but it does take a few minutes to gather data and do the calculations to find the epicenter and magnitude.

  67. Wow, this is the first I’ve heard of the earthquake. I stopped watching TV years ago, but I’m usually still able to keep up with the news. I’m surprised I still haven’t had any “mainstream media” exposure to the occurrence.

  68. Wow, this is the first I’ve heard of the earthquake. I stopped watching TV years ago, but I’m usually still able to keep up with the news. I’m surprised I still haven’t had any “mainstream media” exposure to the occurrence.

  69. I’ve been monitoring earthquakes for almost 20 years. Not professionally – but daily. First by phone calls and then on the computer. There really is a pattern.
    If, an earthquake occurs in Japan, you can be sure it will go south and around the ring of fire that way.

    I would be willing to bet that when an earthquake that
    size hits Mexico, we in the USA will feel larger quakes
    the same week. Heads northward.

    The past 4 years there have been MORE BIG QUAKES in a shorter period of time than I have ever monitored.
    My kids think I am paranoid because I have checked at least 3-4 times a day during all these years – there is a pattern.

  70. I’ve been monitoring earthquakes for almost 20 years. Not professionally – but daily. First by phone calls and then on the computer. There really is a pattern.
    If, an earthquake occurs in Japan, you can be sure it will go south and around the ring of fire that way.

    I would be willing to bet that when an earthquake that
    size hits Mexico, we in the USA will feel larger quakes
    the same week. Heads northward.

    The past 4 years there have been MORE BIG QUAKES in a shorter period of time than I have ever monitored.
    My kids think I am paranoid because I have checked at least 3-4 times a day during all these years – there is a pattern.

  71. “I don’t even know anyone who has access to ham radio”

    So? Just because YOU are so insulated that you don’t know anyone that has a HAM radio doesn’t invalidate his point.

  72. “I don’t even know anyone who has access to ham radio”

    So? Just because YOU are so insulated that you don’t know anyone that has a HAM radio doesn’t invalidate his point.

  73. “but it’s there for the resourceful.”

    Assuming that’s it’s up and responsive when you need it ;-)

  74. “but it’s there for the resourceful.”

    Assuming that’s it’s up and responsive when you need it ;-)

  75. Twitter might allow people to say “a possible earthquake” or “a quake just happened” but it’s nothing more than that. You STILL need to wait for the USGS to put out the official announcement with all the relevant data, magnitude, maps, shake maps, along with “did you feel it” ALL of which is more useful than some ‘twit’ writing in to say “yo dude, big quake down here’

    Also, the USGS data is presented within minutes after it’s confirmed…not bad for government work :)

  76. Twitter might allow people to say “a possible earthquake” or “a quake just happened” but it’s nothing more than that. You STILL need to wait for the USGS to put out the official announcement with all the relevant data, magnitude, maps, shake maps, along with “did you feel it” ALL of which is more useful than some ‘twit’ writing in to say “yo dude, big quake down here’

    Also, the USGS data is presented within minutes after it’s confirmed…not bad for government work :)

  77. [...] Mexico City Earthquake, reported on Twitter first « Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger Scoble learned about the Mexico City Earthquake via Twitter — maybe it has value as an alerts system. The Twitterers beat the USGS by several minutes. But now USGS Is reporting somewhere around a 5 to 6.0. (tags: twitter) [...]

  78. What makes this interesting is the way that new forms of communication that cross geographies and create communities like never before are revolutionising the norm for the way that people find out about news. Where people historically were glued to CNN I wonder whether the future will see us having one eye looking at Twitter?

    My post backs up this point

  79. What makes this interesting is the way that new forms of communication that cross geographies and create communities like never before are revolutionising the norm for the way that people find out about news. Where people historically were glued to CNN I wonder whether the future will see us having one eye looking at Twitter?

    My post backs up this point

  80. [...] לא פעם ראשונה שזה קורה, היו כבר רעידות עולם במקסיקו שדווחו בטוויטר, אבל זה די מדהים. המידע הראשוני על רעידת [...]

  81. [...] CS is nieuws. Een ander voorbeeld is de melding van een aardbeving in Mexico-stad, die werd het eerst vermeld op Twitter. Oordeel:Positief. Nieuws bereikt je snel, wat erg handig kan zijn als journalist [...]