Dirk Knemeyer

The 2011 Japanese earthquake and social media

The 2011 Japanese earthquake and social media, March 15, 2011

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

The big story this week is the tragedy in Japan. As of this writing the death toll is at over 10,000, but clearly the number will be far higher. The tragedy of a terrible earthquake and tsunami being followed by a deepening nuclear crisis leaves not just the Japanese nation, but much of the world anxiously waiting to see when and how this nightmare will end. Of course, beyond being and important news story it is another illustration of the power of digital technologies in our lives. The big stories of yesteryear—stories as big as JFKs assassination, the Munich Olympics, the Iran hostage crisis, The Challenger disaster, and even the OJ Simpson trial and verdict were virtually in the stone ages from the standpoint of available information and immersion, compared to what is possible today in our digital life. The variety and volume of information, visuals, analysis and opinion downright dizzying. Hopefully digital tools also prove useful in hoping to inform and move people in real time, thus saving lives. In any event our thoughts, prayers and good karma go out to the Japanese people.