Social media at the forefront of news coverage

Proof we don’t do things in halves, the universe threw two of the century’s largest moments into three days – a royal wedding and the takedown of the world’s most wanted terrorist. And proof of the changing ways we communicate in the 21st century, social media was at the forefront of alerting the world.

The pomp and decadence of the Royal Wedding on Friday shone a pretty, romantic light over the world – which let’s admit, has been pretty bleak in 2011 courtesy of Mother Nature’s tragedies. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr were championing conversation, coverage and updates in the minutes pre, during and post wedding which two billion people stopped to watch.

However, this romance was quite literally killed, overshadowed by the death of Osama bin Laden yesterday. Like the Royal Wedding, social media played a pivotal role in this story, notably in how the news broke.  As reported on Wired, the Osama takedown set the Twitter record, with the micro-blogging site being the avenue where the news was first shared – by a Blackberry.

Personally, I first heard the news of bin Laden’s death at the gym, via Facebook, which led me to research news sites on my iPhone. In fact, the more I think about it, Facebook has been the source of my news and updates through the ups and downs of 2011: the Queensland floods and cyclone, Christchurch’s earthquake, Japan’s tsunami and earthquake, the Royal Wedding coverage … and now bin Laden.

How did you hear about the bin Laden news? And what is your best source of news?

Yours in social media changing the way we communicate,

Julia