Citizen Journalism at its Finest: Amateur MeterologyPosted: August 12, 2010 | |
My Twitter stream is flooding (ha!) with tales of power outages, WMATA hold-ups and flood warnings from around the DMV area this morning. That massive storm that came through was fun to watch if you were inside, but being caught in it could not have been fun.
The other thing I’m realizing is that I never would have even gone to an accredited meterology source like Weather.com if it wasn’t for that linked article I put together for We Love DC. In fact, it’s been a lot more fun to follow local Twitterers as they share the on-the-street happenings and images. Just in the last few minutes I’ve seen shots of Constitution Ave underwater, and probably the best shot of the day will be this Twitpic from the middle of Northwest DC:
The running joke in DC is that “weather has brought us together” this year. I think the overly-connected DC social grid is responsible for that. This is a smartphone town, and the fact that everyone is at the point of something happening makes it really easy to create news – even if it is just about a fast moving Tornadocane. At least among this crowd, it felt like it was smarter to turn to Twitter than the news channels this morning. The information was more valuable (knowing there was a flood at one of the metro stations, what did that mean for the commute) because it came from the people actually affected by inclement weather.
No news organization could pay – nor should they – for that many voices and eyewitnesses. But, as I write this, TBD is killing it by tapping into that network and pushing out updates from others, not trying to make their own. Even moments ago they opened a live chat shows that they are willing to hand over the speaker if needed.
Hey, it’s the weather. We always talk about the weather, right? Someone will say the fact that we’ve moved beyond what we eat on Twitter is progress. Maybe they should log in and realize the value that comes with it.