Real Time Reporting Across Four State Lines

KdVFlameOUtEvents of the past twenty-four hours have given me an interesting case study in the use of social media as a device for real time reporting. You see back in New Orleans there is a Krewe, a Mardi Gras parading organization, called the Krewe du Vieux. Yesterday their den, where the floats are stored between Carnivals, caught fire.

A local blogger, NOLA Slate, fired off an email which gave me the sart of this post on HumidCity which was the first appearance of the news online. Shortly thereafter krewe members started throwing out pics and info via Facebook which I used as the first updates to the main post. For example this image of the firemen you see was sent to me by New Orleans based photographer Charlotte Diem via Facebook.

It was not until after the second update that anything in the way of mainstream media were able to get anything out. So from four states away I was able, due to my network across a variety of platforms to keep pretty close to real time and get the news out to a wide audience to whom it was pertinent. This audience, since it is in reality a community, then responded with additional info as well as the commentary and discussion.

Thanks to a wide network on the ground I was able to get the story out before anyone else, all from four states away in Cincinnati, OH. This is why you build a community rather than worry about how many followers you have on twitter. Like all things in life it’s about quality not quantity. It does not matter if you have  a billion people in your network if none of them are really listenting.

This is a brief example, on a smaller scale than Iran/Twitter, of the practical application of social media for general reporting and citizen journalism. The era of smart phones is accelerating the process. I know that I have real time access to all my social media platforms, my wordpress blogs, and the ability to record and post audio directly to a blog or to twitter all at my fingertips. Why? I have an iPhone and apps.

 is the owner of SocialGumbo, LLC

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