Monday, May 2, 2011

Instant Micro Celebrity Overnight

This morning I read a post form The Wall Street Journal talking about live tweets on the Bin Laden attack. Apparently Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant from the Abbottabad area of Pakistan was on Twitter last night when he reportedly heard a helicopter flying above. He noted that this occurrence was rare to see, and later learned that the copter was not Pakistani. “Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter :-/” Athar tweeted. Within minutes of his tweet he tweeted again, “A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S”.

“Since taliban (probably) don’t have helicopters, and since they’re saying it was not ‘ours’, so must be a complicated situation#abbottabad

Over the next few hours, Athar tweeted with a few other Twitter users about the loud crash they had heard earlier and weather it was an accident or not. The following morning Athar began his morning tweets with “interesting rumors in the otherwise uneventful Abbottabad air today.” Shortly after his tweet, Athar figured out what really happened with the crash the night before.

He retweeted a tweet from Munzir Naqvi: “I think the helicopter crash in Abbottabad, Pakistan and the President Obama breaking news address are connected.”

“I guess Abbottabad is going to get as crowded as the Lahore that I left behind for some peace and quiet. *sigh*”

As the morning grew on, people began to learn of Athar’s lives tweets from the night before, and now thousands of followers have added him within the last few hours. It was reported that Athar had only 750 followers before his live tweet news broke out to the media. Athar now has almost 60,000 followers and has said to have been bombarded with request from other social media sites, while also having an overwhelming amount of emails sent to him with tons of questions. People want to speak with the man that might have unknowingly tweeted about Osama’s death.


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