Did you feel the #earthquake?
By Fabiola Carletti
So, by now you've probably heard (if you didn't feel) that a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Ontario-Quebec border region at about 1:41 p.m. today.
But long after the tremors subsided, the shock waves continued throughout the twitterverse. When I began to type this post at 2:38 p.m, I simultaneously went onto twitter and searched "earthquake." That was two minutes ago, but there are already 5305 new tweets about the earthquake. So far, there's only one comment on the Star's main story.
I won't refresh the page until I'm finished with this blog post, just to make the point (6219 new tweets).
Like most people buzzing about this topic, I don't have much to say. But I do share the inexplicable need to tell people where I was and how it affected me -- even if it didn't, really. (7025)
Well, I was sitting on my sister's bed and I thought our dog was beside it, violently scratching his leg. I told him to cut it out, and was surprised to hear my sister saying the same thing in the next room. (7944)
By the time I looked over the edge of the bed and realized my dog was M.I.A, the shakes had stopped. (8316)
See? Not a particularly interesting story, but I tweeted it along with everyone else who had a this-is-where-I-was-when-it-happened moment. (9031)
Anyway, now that the tweets are at 10,231, and it's only 2:47 p.m., (nine minutes since I began this post) I'll leave you with the top tweet being generated on this earth-shaking topic.
- Ottawa government buildings evacuated. Productivity unaffected.#earthquake
- Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake
- Reports coming in that the #earthquake caused a tsunami at the #g20 fake-lake :P
So, here's the take-away: In the event of a natural disaster, we may not get very much useful information in real-time, but at least we'll have plenty of snappy one-liners.
Oh, and P.S., there's still only one comment on the Star's main story as I wrap up this post (at 2:50 p.m). I guess we know where all to congregate if looking for some old-fashioned gabbing in a digital town square.
Fabiola Carletti is a Toronto Star radio room reporter and graduate student at the UBC School of Journalism. She recently graduated summa cum laude from York University, having earned an honours double major in Professional Writing and Communication Studies. Her digital footprints are all over the internet, but you can learn more about her by reading her blog, or chasing her around on twitter.