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Social Media – Faster than a Seismic Wave

I had a really unique experience on Tuesday, August 23rd that I’m compelled to share with you.  While on a mentor call, the chat suddenly went from TechEd topics to shaking it up with an earthquake.  Although this was my first earthquake experience, what really made it unique was that I knew it was coming before it hit because of social media chat.

Here are excerps from the meeting chat (forgive formatting as this is cut and paste):

John Astill: earthquake in DC right now….                                                    Tammy Powlas: Yes we are shaking here in Vriginia
Sue Keohan: @tammy really?
Tammy Powlas: Yes for real                                                                              John Astill: whole building is shaking ….
Greg Myers: I can feel it now too

At this point, Chip Rodgers, who sits in the desk next to mine, was presenting. Just as the quake hit us, he said, “Wow, there’s an earthquake happening here…in Philadelphia.”

While back in the chat:
Jeanne Carboni: Wow, my first earthquake!
Natascha Thomson: Wow           
Derek Loranca: I just felt it too
Gretchen Lindquist: East coasters, stay safe!
Chris @BoobBoo:
Simon To: I hope everyone is OK
Karin: nothing but heat here in SA
Jeanne Carboni: Might as well move to CA!
Greg Myers: Shaking in Philadelphia. Weird.
Marilyn Pratt: now earthquake in NJ
Dave Rathbun:
Simon To: no earthquake in Texas, just 100+ degree heat  🙂
Christina Miller: good luck you east coasters!
Jeanne Carboni: Our whold building is abuzz about the quake.
Rob J: Just felt it in Ohio!!
Sue Keohan: @jeanne – right there in NSQ?
Natascha Thomson: Californian sending earthquake good kharma
Marilyn Pratt: breaking news is shaking news
Henrique Pinto: not a thing in sao paulo
Jon Reed: wow…feeling the earthquake right now here in western mass
Marilyn Pratt: wow jon, amazing as it moves across.  Bizarre
Sue Keohan: @jonerp – yeah, and it’s also snowing
John Astill: teched news causing waves…..
Mico: We are also shaking here in Atlanta!
Natascha Thomson: Be safe
Dave Rathbun: check out the xkcd link I sent earlier; it compares the travel time for seismic waves versus tweets 🙂
Greg Myers: Shake, Rattle & Roll!
Derek Loranca: 5.8 preliminary magnitude  with epicenter in virginia, acoording to the USGS
Ethan Jewett: Earthquake is registering as 5.8. Quite large. Hope everyone is OK.
Greg Myers: Earthquake is a 5.8
Jon Reed: wow that was crazy, earthquake tremors in western mass. My chandalier is still swaying
John Astill: see you all at teched, being evacuated from building                                                                

Thank you to all of the mentors who engaged in above virtual discussion, and thank you to John Astill and Tammy Powless for preparing me for my first earthquake!

Based on my personal experience, I must say that chat moves faster than a seismic wave! (Stole that from Marilyn Pratt’s tweet.)

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  • Hi Jeanne,

    I was on that call as well, and it was very surreal to be hearing about the earthquake the way we did.  First from John and Tammy, and then it just worked its way up north.  Thanks for capturing the moment in this blog!

    Best Regards,
    Karin Tillotson