I Feel the Earth Move...

September 6, 2011

By Susan Burke

In the ANA's New York City offices, we felt the slight aftershocks from August's earthquake in Virginia. After it passed, the questions began, ranging from "was that an earthquake?" to "was that the subway?" A quick look on CNN.com and MSNBC.com confirmed that there had been an earthquake in Virginia, but beyond a "breaking news" banner, there was no fresh information on either of those sites for some time afterward.

Hungry for more information, I headed to Facebook and that's where I got the scoop-links to articles, attempts to check in to the earthquake on Foursquare, and reports of a mild shaking going on from friends all over the northeast. Not only was information coming out of Facebook (and Twitter) quickly, it was also, for the most part, accurate and interesting.

My social media experience on Tuesday reflects a larger trend that is currently impacting the advertising industry. According to Carolyn Everson, VP, Global Marketing, Facebook, who spoke at the Mobile Marketing Association's CEO & CMO Summit in July 2011, 74 percent of consumers would prefer to receive information and recommendations from their friends online as opposed to experts. For me, Facebook (and my friends) were a more helpful source of information during the earthquake than any of the traditional news sites.

What do you think? Is social media where you go for news and reviews?


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