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Friday, January 4th, 2008

Twitter's Usefulness Underscored During San Francisco Storm

 

Photo credit Tony Avelar - from Associated Press articleSince I signed up with Twitter I have experienced a wide array of emotion while experiencing the lives of the people I follow; sad because someone I follow was struggling with depression, frustrated due to repetitive useless tweets, and amazed and excited by the timely news I am often privy too. Obviously I prefer to be excited and amazed and today happens to be one of those days.

In this case, San Francisco and much of California is currently being rocked by a highly irregular storm that has raised severe weather alerts such as flash floods, and high surf/coastal floods. Well it just so happens that a few of the people I follow on Twitter are from this area and their tweets provide proof that Twitter (the community-based text messaging platform) has a value above my expectation.

  1. I caught a tweet from Michael Dorausch of Planet Chiropractic that provided a resource of links to the latest California weather news and travel info. The posting appears quite helpful to Californians because it provides alternative sites for those who find the most obvious ones too busy to access.

    How it Helped: This is weather posting is a great resource for friends and family in California – pass it on to those who may not know how to navigate the Net well – it could save a lot of headache for anyone traveling or planning to travel.

  2. Evan Williams kindly posted a driving warning for his Twitter network: “Driving thru town in the storm. Brannan blocked at 8th by fallen tree. Multiple traffic lights out.”How it Helped: Stay away from Brannan and 8th and keep the heck of the roads if you have any choice in the matter.
  3. Jeremiah Owyang posted that his home was without power and he was bailing water as his garage flooded. He posted a few times on this over the past 10 hours. Poor guy sounds miserable! I wish I was in the area to help – if I were I could thanks to Twitter.How it Helped: Monitor your basement and garage for water and prepare for outages if you haven’t already. Oh and stay away from Jeremiah’s neighborhood ;-)
  4. Adam Glickman lost a TV converter to a power surge. As a result, he decided to plug his replacement into a UPS.How it Helped: Now is the time to use those all important surge protecting power bars and to use UPS equipment on anything that is too valuable to lose. Oh and pray you kept the $5000 warranty coverage pamphlet that came with your power bar if it doesn’t work out for you.

Twitter logoI have found Twitter to be helpful from a business and social perspective because I learn more about people I am interested in and I occasionally hear about news as it breaks; however, the posts that have come through over the past few hours have opened up Twitter as a potential resource during emergencies. This is especially true when the cell phone text messaging options are enabled. Perhaps it could even help save lives? Stranger things have happened.

Related Content: Learn more about Twitter

Top right photo credit: Tony Avelar – from Associated Press article in the Boston Globe.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating 10 Years of Web Marketing Excellence

One Response to “Twitter's Usefulness Underscored During San Francisco Storm”

  1. Anonymous

    Students at Virginia Tech used Facebook in much the same way – to communicate to friends and family that they were ok – during the shooting in April. I think any platform you can use to contact large groups of people at once during an emergency situation is a fantastic added-benefit to that system.

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