I woke up today to the news that the world’s most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden was killed. This news I came across on television but after that, I have been following the news story online. This is very different from almost 10 years ago when 9/11 attacks happened. I primarily looked up the news on television. Internet was still used primarily for email. Search engines gave useful links but hardly anyone of them updated their results in real-time and this made searching for news online during the 9/11 attacks quite useless.
I came across a post on Search Engine Land about how Google has evolved. Back in 2001, when the tragedy happened, a lot of American’s probably looked up Google for more news.
Google actually had a banner on their search landing page suggesting people should look the most current news on television and radio.
This was probably because the news agencies did not put out reports immediately on the internet and Google search probably did not do a good job of searching real time results. Also much of the news agencies did not put up their content free but it was premium.
Today, if we searched for Osama Bin Laden’s death, we get search results which are almost in real-time and the top links are all to credited and trusted websites which cover the news.
But, Google was probably not the first place, people came across this news. Many of my friends came across this news on Twitter. Twitter does seem to be crowd-sourcing news in real-time and has become a very important tool in today’s online world.
Twitter is becoming a primary source for News!
Here is how the term “Osama” was used on Twitter according to Trendistic.
The news spread like wildfire on Twitter and it was done in real time. The reports were scattered by within hours about 17% of the Tweets contained the word “osama” in it. That is a huge volume of people getting and sharing news on Twitter.
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube which are distributing and spreading news through the world within seconds did not even exist on 11th September 2001.
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