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How do you get your breaking news?

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Probably from the radio. But, you’re informed and in touch so that can’t be your only source of what’s happening around the world. My co-worker Josh and I were just discussing the flow of information on breaking news, for example, today’s earthquake in California. Here’s how I received the news from the West:

  1. “Tweet” from a Twitter friend in California, (and by “friend” I mean someone I count on for information about cool things because she’s in the know)
  2. Check latimes. com-nothing yet
  3. Another tweet from kcrw.com
  4. BBC homepage (from my Google Reader RSS feeds)
  5. Back to latimes.com where there was a news alert about it

So, no TV or Radio for me on this one. Josh, how’d you get the news? Thanks, Carrie. Like the China Earthquake earlier this summer, I heard it first on twitter.

  1. Twitter.‚ I saw a re-tweet from a friend who saw a tweet from someone in LA
  2. Tweet from Jesse Thorn, host of The Sound of Young America. (He’s A-ok!)
  3. Check CNN, LA Times.‚ Nothing
  4. Searched “Earthquake” in twitter.‚ Found hundreds of tweets
  5. Found the first story on AP headlines and sent it out in a tweet from the WBEZ Twitter account
  6. Now listening to KPCC and KCRW (southern California public radio) online while reading those tweets.

The big story for me, though, is that Twitter didn’t crash as it has during big news events in the past.‚ As this kind of sms based communication grows more stable under stress, we are looking at the makings of a new kind of emergency alert system. Update: The LA Times already has an article on today’s earthquake and Twitter.

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