When natural disasters strike, social media is at its finest hour. 2011 has provided more than enough examples why social media is the new mass-communication and effective communications method.
“At the time of the earthquake, people all over the east coast ran to Facebook and Twitter to connect with loved ones, and discuss its impact in their own town”, discusses Wisnefski, an Entrepreneur who founded WebiMax in 2008. “Not only were there 5,000 tweets per second on Twitter, Facebook fan pages including ‘I survived the earthquake of 8/23/11 reached 45,000 members. These numbers should not surprise any of us, as we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the uses of social media this year, including in the international conflicts of Egypt and Libya”.
Cellular phone outages were also substantial in the ensuing moments after the earthquake, including most significantly affected AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The inability to reach out to family members also prompted the dramatic use of social media, as people posted ‘are you ok?’ on the wall of their family and friends.
“Not once did Twitter become ‘over capacity’ during the earthquake. It seems quite clear that the capabilities and mass-reach that social media gives us is much more effective than traditional methods, including mobile telecommunications”, concludes Wisnefski.