Yesterday's Earthquake Caused More Twitter Traffic than Bin Laden's Death

Illustration for article titled Yesterday's Earthquake Caused More Twitter Traffic than Bin Laden's Death

What happens when you mix a relatively mild seismic event with an extremely dense population of the tech-savvy and self-centered east coast? Twitter-splosion! Yesterday's quake let loose 5,500 tweets per second, beating Dead Osama and tying Fukushima's 9.0. Priorities!

Between the marble and brick federal egocentrism of DC and the media self-fellation of New York, it's no wonder there were 40,000 tweets regarding the 5.8 tremor within one minute of it happening—and that they reached us in New York before the ground started to shake. People love talking about themselves, especially when they are shaking because of an earthquake.


But for many soft, sensitive east coasters like me, it was also our first earthquake. And that's kind of a big deal! And a particularly rare one for this side of the continent. But still—the fact that yesterday trumped the surprise killing of the most wanted, most heinous terrorist in the history of the world and a unfathomably powerful earthquake that triggered an ongoing nuclear disaster says something about Twitter. It's at its most popular when it gives us a mirror to look into. And next to that mirror is a megaphone to scream at everyone about it. And nothing makes for a good ego screamin' like a non-dangerous earthquake. [Twitter]

You can keep up with Sam Biddle, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

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Bs Baldwin

I wouldn't call this earthquake non-dangerous. There was a house that collapsed in camden, the side of a warehouse collapsed in baltimore, there were a couple of gas leaks and someone could have died if they got hit by the falling stones and bricks.