One of the most interesting uses of social media, to date, is how it was used during the Boston Bombing manhunt.
Not only could you get updates on Facebook and Twitter – and follow certainhashtags to get the kind of information you wanted – you could listen to the police scanner and learn what was happening full minutes before they reported it on television.
It was such an incredible combination of traditional media, citizen journalists, and law enforcement, it was almost impossible to pull yourself away.
In fact, people were so obsessed, police had to ask the public to stop posting what they were doing on the social networks.
They were certain, at one point, the accused bomber was watching the Twitter feed to stay ahead of the hunt.
Breaking news on the social networks has become such a natural course of action, most newsrooms monitor what’s happening to plan their editorial.
The Hudson River plane landing. Natasha Richardson. Michael Jackson. Khloe and Lamar marriage troubles.
When Phillip Seymour Hoffman died, we all saw the news break on the social networks and then confirmed it was true when the Wall Street Journal and CNN ran stories.