My first instinct when my building began to shake and bounce was to dive into a doorway. My second was to turn to Twitter.
First Kady O'Malley was posting about feeling it. Then a couple friends. Then the jokes started. The rumours and info and one-liners started flying across the Twitterverse, grabbing my attention. I felt instantly connected to everything going on, which I loved, as I passed on tweets and read down the stream.
I did not have access to a TV, so I don't know what that response was like, but CTV's twitter account was excellent. Their website crashed, apparently, but they did a good job of collecting information and passing it on.
CBC radio kept playing Writers and Company, as if anyone in most of Ontario cared about writers or their company after feeling the earth shaking. CBC online posted its story a whole hour later.
The Globe and Mail's response was good as well. They tweeted that they were evacuating their Ottawa building, and soon had a livechat set up on their website, gathering and sharing information. From there, I saw that people as far as Detroit said they'd felt it.
From my experience yesterday, you can't really beat Twitter for instantaneous response. I think media outlets should keep that in mind, and make sure they put enough effort into their Twitter accounts.
Zoom wrote about this topic today as well. The Globe and Mail tech blog posted this about Twitter and earthquakes.
PS: Favourite jokes of the day include anything about fake lake tsunami warnings, declarations that "Quebec is finally separating!" (topical, since today is St Jean Baptiste Day), and Industry Minister Tony Clement's post: "I blame #bieber #earthquake". I liked his trending topic convergence.