“There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people.”

Those words, hastily typed on Janis Krums’ iPhone just after US Airways flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River last month, marked yet another milestone in the microblogging revolution.

Krums, a Sarasota, Fla., entrepreneur, posted his observations and a compelling photo of a half-submerged aircraft to Twitter, where it was seen by hundreds of people before any other media organization knew about the accident.

Twitter and related sites such as BrightKite have been breaking news since they’ve been around. They’ve offered first-hand accounts of events such as the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the Virginia Tech shootings and California’s wildfires.

Before Krums scooped the New York media on the biggest news story of the year so far, there was Mike Wilson, aka “2drinksbehind,” who twittered his observations after his Continental Airlines flight slid off the runway and burst into flames in Denver last late last year.

“We were in the middle of a normal takeoff when we suddenly veered off,” he reported. Then he posted a picture of the crash. Then he tweeted that Continental kept the survivors “locked up” in its lounge until it could sort everything out. “Won’t even serve us drinks,” he added.

So what? “The world will never be the same,” says Joel Comm, author of the book “Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time.” The airline crashes marked a turning point for this emerging technology, according to Comm and other social media experts. Once the domain of a few early adopters, microblogging is now being embraced by the masses. It could change the way we travel.

“The viral nature of interesting posts expand your reach and influence,” says Comm.

Continue reading on www.elliott.org

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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