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Twittering the earthquake in China

BBC: Twitter and the China earthquake.

I reported the major quake to my followers on Twitter before the USGS Website had a report up and about an hour before CNN or major press started talking about it. Now there’s lots of info over on Google News.

How did I do that? Well, I was watching Twitter on Google Talk. Several people in China reported to me they felt the quake WHILE IT WAS GOING ON!!!

Over the next two hours I pointed at anyone who had info about the quake on my Twitter account.

It’s amazing the kind of news you can learn by being on Twitter and the connections you can make among people across the world.

I fear a large casualty loss. The epicenter was 50 miles from Chengdu, which has about 10.5 million residents. Already reports are coming across of buildings that have been knocked down.

dtan was the first Twitterer I saw talking about the quake. This was my first post in reaction to him.

UPDATE: Online Journalism Blog has a lot more details about what happened on Twitter tonight. From the Frontline blog has even more.

UPDATE2: Global Voices Online has links to videos and other Twitter and blog reports.

UPDATE3: here’s a timeline of what first Tweets looked like.