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Twitter frenzy over dust storms


Based in Melbourne, it’s sometimes hard to get our Anthillian antennae around local events beyond our borders. That’s why we jumped at the opportunity to syndicate this piece, courtesy of national advertising agency BCM Partnership, merging local news and innovative tools for communication. Twit-tacular! Anthill Magazine.

For those of you in Brisbane or Sydney, you may have thought you lived on Mars today with the eerie clouds of red dust over our skies – in fact both “Dune” and “Total Recall” have been referenced several times.

While we are all now pretty convinced of the marketing capabilities of Twitter, it is interesting to see how it is being used by the average Joe for events and things that are of real-time interest.

I tested this out following the Brisbane Riverfire fireworks display two weeks ago – by midnight on Saturday 12 September there were over 700 tweets related to Riverfire and there had been over 2,000 tweets by the Monday morning.

In the context of the whole twittersphere that might not have seemed like much – indeed Riverfire was only up as a trending topic for about an hour before it was knocked off, but this early in the piece I can only guess how many tweets there will be about this crazy dust storm.

Since the dust storm hit Brisbane around 11:45am this morning there have been over 250…no…276…no…289…345…426… (sheesh I’ve given up trying to count) tweets with a great collection of #duststorm photos to be found on the Twitcaps aggregator site:

photos on the twitcaps aggregator site, bcm.com.au

While the Trendsmap website shows up an interesting collection of words being used this morning by Sydney twitter users:

Sydney Twitter tag cloud, bcm.com.au

So if you are still feeling nervous about Twitter because you feel the pressure to always talk about something witty and intelligent, remember that the real-time nature of Twitter has been a driving factor in its rapid growth in popularity – allowing users to group together over shared experiences, or collectively break news stories as they happen.

Sarah Ferguson is an Account Director at BCM Partnership. With nearly fifteen years in the advertising industry, she is embracing social media and monitoring the balance between brand ‘interaction’ and ‘interference’ within the social media landscape. Sarah’s original post can be found here.