Monthly Archives: September 2009

An Experiment in Social Media [updated!]

Tonight when I came home from work there was a helicopter flying over our neighborhood.  So I went online and searched the usual places for news:  OC Register and Google News.  When they turned up blank I went to Twitter.  I found that my local police department had a twitter account so I sent them a message.

my first tweet

As of this post I have yet to receive a response.  I then did a search in twitter with the keyword “irvine”.  This turned up a lot of tweets on the concert tonight.  But weeding through that mess I found some people were actually talking about all the police activity in Irvine.

behind house

I checked the radio, nothing.  Saw the ABC 7 chopper in the air, so I asked them what’s going on and they still have not replied either.  Back to my search:

ocreggieThis twitter user actually was notifying the OC Register, to what was going on.  Still nothing on their twitter account yet.

armored rescuePossibly the most exciting tweet of the ones I saw tonight about the action.  But still no answers.  Things get even more interesting with this next tweet:


This was the apex of the action this evening.  Later I saw:

under attackThat seems to be the end of it.  As of this posting I have not seen anything more about the police activity in Irvine.  I did call the Irvine police department’s non-emergency line.  They said they have detained someone, and everything is ok now.  Then the operator said she had 80,000 other calls and had to go.

The experiments outcome?  Twitter provided more information to me than any other medium when the action was actually happening.  Nothing was on TV, or the major networks websites.  The twitter accounts like the Irvine Police, OC Register, etc, did not have anything about the events that were unfolding in my city.  The lesson I learned tonight?  Twitter is great for instant information, but the whole story cannot be told in 140 characters.  I look forward to reading about whatever it is that happened tomorrow morning.

This has been a great experiment for me, especially since I begin my Social Media class next week at UCI.  Of course, the class is online!

UPDATE:  Irvine Police Tweet and post press release.  This was VERY close to our house.  I’m glad everything was resolved and no one was hurt.  I think it is very cool that the IPD tweeted this!

press release