First Tweets After the Christchurch Earthquake

earthquake tweetsAs I mentioned in my blog post yesterday about the Christchurch earthquake, I used Twitter as my sole source of information during the disaster.

I jumped on Twitter about 20 minutes after it happened, as did many people throughout Christchurch and the rest of New Zealand. But what amazed me was that some Christchurch tweeps managed to jump onto their Twitter account DURING the quake itself and tweet from under their tables and doorways.

The fact that people were putting their Twitter addiction above their personal safety is a bit alarming, but it’s also an incredible endorsement of Twitter and brings home the impact of social media as a whole on our psyche.

I think back to the last earthquake I witnessed first-hand, the 1989 Newcastle, Australia earthquake (which was only a Richter magnitude 5.6 by the way, making this week’s earthquake 15 times stronger!) and the only connection I had to other people affected by the quake was over the neighbor’s fence until the power came back on a few hours later and the TV reports started dribbling in. Phones were jammed, information was scarce and nobody seemed to really know what happened for hours and hours.

The ability for us to receive news and summon emergency resources instantly is one of Twitter’s best, albeit accidental, advantages. It goes beyond the boundaries of social media and becomes a vital communications tool. Even with all the clever applications that have been developed using the Twitter API, the impact of Twitter’s original functionality in emergency situations like the Christchurch earthquake cannot be underestimated.

I’ve been collecting the first 3 tweets from people after (and even during!) the quake. Emotions were running high, so the f-bomb features in some. If you’re a prude, you might want to look away now. I have linked to the actual tweets as well so you can see their time stamps.

First Tweets After Earthquake at 4.35am, Saturday 4 September 2010:

From: @kalena

  • QUAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (http://bit.ly/davzRM)
  • Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck 7.2 earthquake 30 km from here. We are camping in car right now (http://bit.ly/aEtwO4)
  • Quite a bit of damage to our house I fear. Glass breaking, lots of things falling as we ran out. What a horrible way to wake up #earthquake (http://bit.ly/bvkdCO)

From: @polarbearfarm

From: @swiftynz

From: @kylierichardson

From: @zurtle

From: @lilGin

  • And the one day I don’t charge my phone we lose all power. Fuck you Murphy and your laws! #earthquake (http://bit.ly/cTYp4u)
  • My living area/kitchen smells like a mixture of peaches, pickles, some sort of vinegar type substance. #earthquake (http://bit.ly/d7H5H2)
  • Bet people are wishing they had thought about how to “get thru”. I am. We don’t even have batteries! #earthquake (http://bit.ly/cISpTa)

From: @serenity22

  • just got power back in Riccarton/Ilam #nzeq (http://bit.ly/aoH1ge)
  • @MsPraxis  – all ok, no damage to the house apart from some hairline cracks in ceiling. bit of breakage, nothing major. shocks still coming (http://bit.ly/bf7oG0)
  • had to go find the old fixed line phone to save the cell (http://bit.ly/cpg84W)

From: @crashhelmet

From: @benkepes

From: @kevinnz

From: @Aupajo

From: @kiwiscotsman

From: @bronmarshall

From: @Craig_Forster

From: @rachel_a

From: @mrsgooding

From: @kiwichrish

From: @NatashaUtting

From: @matt_dempsey

From: @Motmunter

From: @kcolbin

  • @rachel_a Thanks, girl! You ok after this morning’s adventures? (http://bit.ly/b6kFLq)
  • Power back on now. Holy moley, that was scary :(  (http://bit.ly/bWFghd)
  • @rachel_a Dang, I should go to Fava! Good idea! We’ve got power back now, had been cooking up a storm in our campervan :-)  (http://bit.ly/csQL5q)

More will be added as they come in.

What were your first 3 tweets after the quake? If you want to contribute, please @reply me links to them at @kalena with #firstthreetweets as your hashtag or simply add links to them in the comments below.

Share this post with others

Q and A: Are Geo Tags worth using for search engines?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I just came across ‘Geo Tags’ that allow you to identify the geographical location of your business. I’d like to incorporate them on our local office pages like Boston, Charlotte, Houston, etc.

[meta name="geo.position" content="35.2287 -80.8458 "]
[meta name="geo.region" content="US-NC"]
[meta name="geo.placename" content="Charlotte"]

Is this worth doing? What do you think?

Kelly

Dear Kelly

I’ve done a bit of research into geo tags and it appears that Google is now supporting geo-tags for Google Earth.

Google has also added geo-tagging ability to YouTube videos, so the location functionality is obviously part of their algorithm now. In addition, Google, Yahoo and MSN Live Search all now support GeoRSS. GeoRSS is a format that extends RSS by adding location data using Google Maps and the Google Maps API.

So yes, I would say go ahead and add them to your pages. The code additions are fairly small so they shouldn’t bloat the code too much.

Share this post with others