If you have never used twitter, what happened last night might be a good reason to start.

Boston Marathon after the explosion

I will be honest, I couldn't find a way to like twitter and I struggled to grasp the sense of it not so long time ago.

During the Arab Spring I was reading everywhere on how rebels were relying on twitter to get the news outside the country, and to inform and connect with each other.

And I saw the one advantage no other social media really has: real time news.

News that can really save your life.

Yesterday in Boston the explosions have caused more than a bit of panic throughout the social media world,with twitter users even getting angry at anybody not tweeting about what was going on in Boston (and here we could also study how mainstream-reactions decide the way users "should" tweet).

When phones are down and it's difficult to even send SMS, Twitter might be really the best tool you can have on you. Yesterday there were tweets about where to go in Boston to be safe, what to be aware of and whom to contact.

 

Every Social Media and internet tool did what they could to help (Google also re-opened their famous Google Person Finder) but it was Twitter the right place to get the latest updates.

As a company, you should be certainly on Twitter for your marketing, but also as a security measure for your employees and people connected to you. Twitter is more than just a social media, it's the new preferred tool for authorities, shopping malls or organisers of events to let people know what's going on LIVE. You can send multiple tweets an hour without spamming your fan. You cannot really do that on other channels.

In any given day, twitter is great just because of all the sarcasm its users so greatly manage to enclose in 140 characters. In other days (which I hope none of us will ever experience), it might just save your life.

 

It goes without saying, first get to safety and then go on the internet for information.

Image courtesy of Philly.com