Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Social Media and the Hurricane

Monday, August 29th, 2011

In this day and age, there could never be a natural disaster without a significant amount of social media commentary. According to a recent article by USAToday, people waiting for its arrival and those already affected by Hurricane Irene took to Facebook and Twitter to post comments and share information with the online world.

Some posts were used to share updates about power outages, road closings and other trouble cause by Hurricane Irene. Dozens of pages on Facebook were dedicated to the storm. People took to social media to express concern, inform loved ones of their safety, and show remorse for those who lost their lives.

Yet others chose to use social media to express emotions of a different sort related to the hurricane; irritation. Category 1 was one of the top trending topics on Twitter this past weekend. Posters on Twitter accused the media and local and state officials of blowing the hurricane out of proportion and overreacting, calling it a Category 2 storm instead of Category 1.

Twitter posts from residents of New York City talked about the inconvenience of shutting down the city. The mass transit system in NYC was closed down for the first time in its history to prepare for the hurricane’s landfall upon the city.

Still, as some cared to share their irritation or blast their media over the hurricane, some took to the social media airwaves to urge others to take it seriously. No matter what category the hurricane was or how it compared to storms in the past, Irene still caused billions of dollars of damage up and down the East Coast, left hundreds of thousands without power, and killed at least 24 people.

It’s no surprise that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter were flooded with comments and posts about Hurricane Irene. Any monumental event such as a natural disaster will provoke social commentary, and the easiest way to share your opinion with the world these days is via social media. If our country was being bombed to pieces, there would still be people running from the path of destruction with a smartphone in their hands, trying to type out a message about the inconvenience of it all with buildings blowing up left and right and jets flying overhead.

The nature of social media is that anyone can post anything they want at any time. This means that we must take the good with the bad. Certain people decided to use Facebook and Twitter to provide useful information to the rest of the world about the hurricane, such as its path of destruction, road closing, power outages, and refuge shelters for those stranded.

But of course, others like to abuse the access and wide broadcast of social media to complain about the media coverage or the inconvenience of having to evacuate. Social media represents all spectrums of society, and if we are going to subject ourselves to the content, we must hear what everyone has to say.

Wordpress Powers More than 50 Million Sites

Monday, July 11th, 2011

If you follow this blog at all, you might know by now that I am somewhat of a fiend for social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are changing our world and transforming the ways in which we are informed of everyday happenings.

Blogs are also a useful tool in sharing ideas and information. Anyone can create a blog and therefore anyone can share their thoughts with the rest of the world. Right now, you are reading my blog and taking in what I have to say. It might not be breaking news, but if people read it then I have something worth sharing.

If you are reading this blog right now, you are on a Wordpress site. Wordpress is an open source blogging platform that recently reached the accolade of powering more than 50 million different websites. Half of those sites are hosted on the Wordpres.com site, such as this one here.

Every day, Wordpress users create 500,000 new posts and make 400,000 new comments. Wordpress has attracted many users because of its ease and simplicity. You do not have to be any kind of computer geek to create and update a blog. Users can re-arrange widgets without editing PHP or HTML code. It’s so easy, anyone can do it!

Wordpress was released in 2003 and has since made a huge splash in the online world. This open source blog tool and publishing platform is extremely versatile. It can be used to power blogs and many other various types of personal and business websites. Best of all, it’s free.

The idea of a blog is exemplary of the current status of our society. We live in an online, social-networking world, and apparently we care what other people are doing and what they have to say. Twitter and Facebook are both prime examples of how much we invest into other people’s thoughts and actions.

With Twitter, we can follow certain people’s every moves and thoughts they might have. Celebrities attract a lot of attention on Twitter, because for some reason we really care what where they are eating for lunch or what they have to say about current events. In a way, it brings us closer to them and we feel like we know them better by following them on Twitter.

Facebook allows us to exist in a virtual world where everything is wonderful. Posts and pictures on Facebook are usually taken from the highlight reel of one’s life. Everything is great on Facebook, and we like it that way. It’s a perfect world where nothing really goes wrong and everyone is happy. And we can also keep tabs on what our friends are up to at all hours of the day. For the naïve voyeur, this is a utopia.

Blogs are another form of social media, and they enable everyone with a voice. To be able to publish your thoughts and opinions online for others to read makes you feel kind of important – like your thoughts and ideas actually hold some merit tin this crazy world.

The irony is thick here today. I am using my Wordpress blog as a platform to discuss my thoughts on how important blogs have come to be and how Wordpress is dominating that arena. If only somebody would read this…