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Tweets Fly, Twitter Holds Up, When Cali Shakes

Microblogging serves up rapid quake news from L.A.

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Twitter’s oft-criticized infrastructure remained stable under a steady stream of activity after a 5.4 quake hit the greater Los Angeles area.

The US Geological Survey listed the quake originally as measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale when it hit the Los Angeles area this morning. Their list of recent quakes now has it at 5.4, with several smaller tremors noted.

People reached for their preferred electronic device and shared the news with their friends. Many turned to Twitter to do so; unlike previous rushes of traffic to the site, the quake and its aftershock of tweets didn’t drop Twitter off the Internet.

The LA Times tech blog composed a long list of tweets that hit Twitter in rapid succession. Though Twitter held up, the Times itself suffered a brief outage.

“‘Strong quake shakes Southern California’ was pushed out by AP about 9 minutes after people began Twittering primary accounts from their homes, businesses, doctor’s appointments, or wherever they were when the quake struck,” Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said on the service’s blog.

Tweetip published a timeline of tweets, with the first hitting at 2:41 EDT. Many people opted for a single word – Earthquake – in doing so.

“Twitter is simply very fast at disseminating information,” VentureBeat’s MG Siegler said. “We saw this when a large 7.8 earthquake struck China back in May and we

Tweets Fly, Twitter Holds Up, When Cali Shakes
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  • http://www.profy.com/2008/07/30/twitter-friendfeed-cause-news-consumption-imbalance/ Svetlana Gladkova

    What I don’t see is why people constantly compare Twitter to mainstream media because of this event – they do different types of job: Twitter simply broadcasts people’s experiences while news agencies actually produce news and distribute it to millions of people.

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