While I still rely on traditional media for validated news, I get news earlier about #PabloPH from tweets, status updates in facebook and google crisis map.
Tweets from DOST-PAGASA like this one keep me updated of the storm.
PAGASA Storm TWEET
The Google Crisis Map also situates people about the whereabouts of the storm, potential storm surge, flood prone areas and evacuation areas.
Google Crisis Map
Pic-tweets and facebook photos like this also brought news ahead of anyone else.
Bridge in Cateel is destroyed seen from this photo posted on FB
A blogger posted shootouts and pictures about his hometown in FB depicting the devastation by #PabloPH. This rallied netizens and facebook users to share his status updates and get media attention to help.
Olan Emboscado’s FB status update asking help for his town Cateel
In some areas where telecommunication and electricity were down, updates via mobile phone are non-stop.
Social media is at the forefront of bringing in news. It relies heavily on citizen reporting and sharing. Even international news agencies like the New York Times Blog noticed.
Not really but there’s a noticeable drop in my sms and calls yesterday. Two or three years ago, yuletide greetings via text messages pour in as early as hours before christmas time. I remember having to load up hundreds and preparing my “contact list” in my phonebook for groups sms later before christmas. Then my phone’s sms notification starts to go berserk as early as six o’clock in the evening before christmas eve. This rabid text messaging and mobile phone calls get so ugly that we complain about Telco’s “greed” and inability to handle such huge demand for their service. Was “all circuits are busy now, please try your call later” sound familiar? Lines and bandwidth clog up just before christmas so complain of telco’s delayed messages and busy lines. Complains that even pushed some politician to launch a congressional inquiry on it!
Social media killed sms on christmas?
This year though, cellphone calls and sms seem to have “mellowed” a bit. The social media savvy cellphone users trooped to facebook, twitter, skype, yahoo messenger and other social media engines to send their yuletide greetings. Me for example, I can only count with my fingers the number of people who texted me and the persons I sent christmas messages yesterday. It’s not even one fourth of the sms greetings I sent last year!
So what made that sms/call usage drop? The obvious answer would be related to social media. Social media is always connected and its free.No amount of text messaging, especially if its delayed, could beat that advantage. The only disadvantage? Well, you (or the recipient) have to be connected to the net. Otherwise, its useless. Philippines is tops as social media user globally and with the kind of internet penetrability we have, its a matter of time really. But wait, mobile telcos are already grabbing the mobile social media market! I guess that’s taking cue on the current trends now.
So did social media kill sms on christmas? Not yet, but its heading that way somehow.