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August 28, 2011 / Raffy Pekson II

Wild Social Media Hurricane About Irene

8/27/2011: Awaiting Hurricane Irene in Long Beach, Long Island, NY (via CBS News/Steve Futterman)

Twitter account @Irene now has 11,437 followers. I’m wondering who @Irene was before the Category 1 cyclone appeared on our radars. All @Irene ever says on the profile page is “I don’t want to hurt anyone.” LOL!

Looks like people have been using social media sites like Twitter as a means to get information and make fun of things and people as well. Both #HurricaneIrene and #Irene are trending every few seconds. New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman tweeted “Seen price increases of essentials like H2O, gas & flashlights? If so, it’s illegal. Contact our office.” Another tweets “Hurricane Irene is Category 1. CNN hype is Category 4.” Even music comes to play with Irene, such as “Umbrella,” by Rhianna or “You spin me right round,” by Dead or Alive. Or, #FollowMeIrene is trending upwardly, too, that one tweeted “Why would you wanted to be Followed by a Hurricane? Thats just stupid.”

Useful tweets come around to people who need information, that’s obviously the strength of Twitter. Traffic has always been a good information. Charity in the realms of disaster. Sharing information where you’re actually in the midst of it. Like this guy, “If anyone is in the market for 15 gallons of water/10 lbs frozen chicken/25 canned goods, I can get you a sweet deal. #Irene” or “Why was this #irene girl so mad?? #PMS” LOL!

Many started downloading FEMA’s smartphone app and registered with the text messaging service. Like “10 Mobile Apps for Tracking Hurricane Irene”. NASA even joined the social networking world showing the view of the cyclone aboard the International Space Station. USA Today reports Twitter seeing more than 3,000 tweets per minute by 2 p.m. and seven of its top ten trending topics were Hurricane related posts.

So far, I haven’t yet seen a link about the hurricane that leads me to a scam or virus-laden site like many of those sex-oriented links; or being taken to bogus websites where you’re asked to complete online surveys or download malicious programs, such as a codec to watch a video.

The Global Disaster Relief (page) on Facebook posts FBI alerts about fraudulent websites claiming to be collecting donations for Hurricane Irene relief efforts. FEMA explains severe weather terminology. The American Red Cross provides updates on shelter facilities and other Irene-related matters on its wall and its photo album.

Got cute? Here’s a viral Facebook status I’ve been seeing all over my network:

Share a Prayer…..xoxo
─ ─ ─ ─ ─ ─ ▄ ▌ ▐ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▌
─ ─ ─ ▄ ▄ █ █ ▌ █ ░ ♥ ░ . HURRICANE IRENE VICTIMS .░ ♥░ ♥ ░ ♥▐
▄ ▄ ▄ ▌ ▐ █ █ ▌ █ ░ ♥ ░ PRAYERS COMING YOUR WAY ░ ♥░ ♥ ░ ♥▐
…█ █ █ █ █ █ █ ▌ █ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▌
▀ (@) ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ (@)(@) ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ (@) ▀ (@)♥ ♥ ♥

Here a funny quip that’s really going around the net:

*WARNING* As Hurricane Irene prepares to batter the East Coast, federal disaster officials have warned that Internet outages could force people to interact with other people for the first time in years. Residents are bracing themselves for the horror of awkward silences and unwanted eye contact. FEMA has advised: “Be prepared. Write down possible topics to talk about in advance. Sports…the weather. Remember, a conversation is basically a series of Facebook updates strung together.” 😉

The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Cell phone networks can crash during an emergency, while social media is considered a more reliable form of communication.” Okay, how do you get internet access when there’s cellular service and electrical outages? Or, if you’re the lucky few who’s got power and cable and has been glued to the tube on news, think about this tweet: “East Coast Residents: As a media professional, I assure you it’s OK to stand outside in a hurricane as long as you’re holding a microphone.” This is a wild ROFL!

A Hurricane is a favorite New York cocktail drink, so they say. So, in the spirit of the spirits, someone shared their recipe for the storm surge:

Dark and Stormy
(courtesy of Washington Commons)

Two thirds Mount Gay Ginger beer and one third Goslings 151. Add fresh lime juice.

Come on Irene
(courtesy of Fulton Grand, it’s a variation on the Hurricane cocktail)

Equal parts amaretto and light rum. Add dashes of grenadine, grapefruit juice and sour mix.

Serve the Dark and Stormy in a highball glass and the C’mon on Irene in a stemless wine glass.

Last words by Irene: “Nova Scotia, here I come!”

Sources: MailOnline | Social Times | StunMedia | JSOnline Tap | USA Today | All Facebook | Global Disaster Relief Facebook Page | Techie Buzz | Blogger Click | Hollywood Reporter | The FW | WNYC

Photo by CBC News from their Facebook Page



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