How Hurricane Sandy Slapped the Sarcasm Out of Twitter

  • David Carr of the New York Times has written a fascinating piece in which he discusses how he used Twitter during Hurricane Sandy to “see” what was happening around him as it was happening.
  • “Because my Internet connection was poor, so much of the rich media — amazing videos and pictures documenting the devastation — was lost to me. In true media throwback fashion, Hurricane Sandy was something I experienced as a text event, but I don’t feel as if I missed much. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel inundation, the swamping of the Lower East Side, the huge problems at New York hospitals, the stranding of the holdouts in Atlantic City, all became apparent on Twitter in vivid detail.”
  • There were tweets from Reuters, NPR, the New York Times and many others, as well as, those from friends distant and down the street. There was also misinformation and rumors spread and discounted at Internet speed.
  • “Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of The New York Times, said in a message on Twitter that whatever the quality of the feed at any given moment, it was riveting: ‘Impossible to tear one’s eyes from, with occasional nuggets of helpfulness amid constant stream of flotsam and jetsam.’”
  • “It was hard to resist. Twitter not only keeps you in the data stream, but because you can contribute and re-tweet, you feel as if you are adding something even though Mother Nature clearly has the upper hand. The activity of it, the sharing aspect, the feeling that everyone is in the boat and rowing, is far different from consuming mass media.”
  • Twitter became “a great place to laugh, cry, argue, sympathize together.”