Twitter breaks the news of Western Kentucky shooting

Update, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008: Apparently no shots were fired in Wednesday’s incident at Western Kentucky University. WKU defends erroneous reports about shooting.

I first heard about today’s shooting at Western Kentucky University via Twitter. Here’s how the story unfolded for me a few hours ago:

Scanning my Twitter feed, I noticed this post from @steverubel (of Micro Persuasion fame):

//friendfeed.com/breakingnewson'
@steverubel: 'Friendfeed erupts with comments around the university shooting http://friendfeed.com/breakingnewson'

I clicked the friendfeed link in hopes of learning more details about the shooting (such as what college, how many hurt, etc.). But there wasn’t much available yet, only:

“REPORTS: MULTIPLE GUNMEN ON WESTERN KENTUCKY CAMPUS; STUDENTS IN “IMMEDIATE DANGER”; URGED TO TAKE SHELTER. DETAILS SOON.” (link)

This is the third or fourth time I’ve gotten breaking news from my Twitter stream. I see this as a growing trend.

So does Rubel. In a blog post today, he writes that the newsfeed is the future of news.

Newsfeeds elegantly combine peers and pros, algorithms and networks. They know no bounaries. Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb agrees. This is why social networks will become the primary theater for PR in five years time.

“The newsfeed metaphor,” writes Rubel, “synergizes commentary, activity, relevance and timeliness and that’s why it’s the beginning of a new era in news.”

Among the 400-plus tweeters I keep an eye on, there are a handful of news organizations. Not one of them fed me the information about this shooting as quickly as Rubel did with his link to BreakingNewsOn’s friendfeed site. BreakingNewsOn, billed as “the breaking news wire,” also has a Twitter account that I am now following.

BreakingNewsOn also is based in the Netherlands, and it broke the news about an event that happened in Kentucky. Only on the Internet.

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

2 thoughts on “Twitter breaks the news of Western Kentucky shooting”

  1. do you leave your twitter feed open in a browser all day and scan for new tweets, or do yo have the feeds you follow sent to a mobile device? i have a twitter account, but i just haven’t figured out how to use it very effectively.

  2. I saw a RT from @breakingnews about WKU. I went to turn on a tv to CNN expecting to see more details about it, but they were breaking down Sarah Palin’s wardrobe.

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