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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Twitter Rock Steady During Japan Quake

I'm probably not the first to comment on the use of Twitter during the Japan quake and probably won't be the last.

In my field of Business Continuity there is often talk of the use of alternatives to the use of traditional methods of communication such as landine, mobile phone and email. Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter often feature in these discussions but are quickly dismissed. I personally have been sat on the fence until last weekend when I very definitely fell into the pro camp.

What brought it home to me was a Tweet from a Japanese twitter friend from Yokohama who tweeted "phone and email are down. Only reliable communication by Twitter on mobile phone". This was reinforced by a later tweet stating that all her friends and family were now on Twitter and using it as their prime form of communication.

It's a testament to the mobile networks that they not only continued to function but didn't appear to go over capacity despite the use they must have seen.

That Twitter continued to function was also a big surprise as I recall with dismay those 'Twitter over capacity' messages you used to get approaching peak time hours in the morning and early evening.

If I can take two things away from this awful event they are that 'Social Media' via wireless networks are a viable method of communication during a crisis and secondly seeing those communications unfold in real time through the tweets of those there makes you realise that a crisis can really be a crisis, and it's not just the initial event but the aftermath too.

I am an IT Service Continuity specialist with an interest in social media. To find me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter click the buttons below:

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