Friday, January 16, 2009

Social Media Steal the Show in NY Plane Crash

On-the-scene photos, live reports and immediate reactions illustrate the power of sites like Twitter, fans say. But others urge caution before heaping praise on the site and its peers.

Yesterday's dramatic emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York's Hudson River made national TV and newspaper headlines. But the story broke first across social networking sites and through mobile messages -- giving social media a major coup that its fans are crowing about.

Photographs showing Flight 1549's emergency landing began popping up on social networking sites like Facebook and microblogging services like Twitter and Tumblr well before national news reports caught wind of the story. And for Web users who were at work, out of the office, or otherwise far from a TV, social media remained their sole source for updates on the story.

One of the earliest crash photos popped up on Twitter and TwitPic, a site that hosts images that users post on Twitter. The photo had been taken by iPhone user Janis Krums. Within minutes, the image was appearing on blogs and news sites -- causing TwitPic's site to get slammed by traffic, according to a posting by its founder and operator, Noah Everett. [Click for MORE]

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