Boston Bombing: Social Media’s Impact

Tragedy struck Boston today during the marathon. 2 bombs were detonated killing at least 2 as of this post. Dozens of people were injured and chaos ensued as more and more evidence pointed to this being a deliberate attack. The bombs were detonated close to the finish line and set to explode while many runners were crossing. We have seen how social media can help spread word fast; There were many great examples of heroism and communication bolstered by this incredible digital network.

To be clear: This is not an attempt to garner business through the tragedy that is affecting the victims of this terrible event. I intend to highlight the value social media played throughout. If anything other than this intent is conveyed herein please contact us or post a comment and we will address your concerns head on. posted a video that highlights the events as they happen in real-time. There is some graphic content towards the end not to mention the explosion itself.

Pictures came in through Twitter (also here and here) and Vine (a newer network that lets you record 6 seconds of video):
The official Boston Marathon Facebook page posted this on their page at 3:47 pm:

There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today’s Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.

They are continuing to update the page and post news as it happens. The CEO of Foursquare was running in the race and began posting images and updates to his Twitter feed. Including this one:

A Reddit users was present and he began sharing updates as well. Reddit is not a site we discuss here often. Essentially it is a message board where users can vote on topics that are interesting. The ones with the most votes move to the top and the best of the best hit the front page. Anyone can create a sub topic as well which adds to the customization and value as a resource for news and information for affinity groups. Currently this conversation has over 3,770 up votes and he has posted 58 updates. There are also over 200 comments. The Boston Police Department went to Twitter as well to request photos or videos of the scene:

They have been updating their feed every few minutes.

Here is a link to some inspiring photos and links from the event that also came through social media. My favorite is a Google Doc that sprang up where people can post homes with room available to  stay.

By now every major news source is posting images and video of the scene. Social media helped spread the word quickly and helped people know if they were in further danger. It has also helped people get in tough with friends and loved ones who were worried. There were massive issues with cellular calls as the networks were flooded. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Reddit and others all helped people stay informed. This is how conversation is happening today. Social media is how people are connecting and getting news. I will not connect this to brands but I encourage you to stay informed, stay close and stay connected.

Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives and the runners who were injured. We also wish to thank all the unknown heroes who may not get the recognition they deserve.