This post is very late in posting, but some thing which can be termed as a trend in forming. Let me cite the incident and then the analysis.
On the morning of 27th May the day there was bomb blast near the ISI Building and Rescue office, at the time I heard a slight vibration thinking of an earthquake as I had just logged in to my PC I posted on twitter asking if there was an earthquake in Lahore. I am not a regular twitter user, there are people like teethmaestro who fully utilize the service, how ever my turninng to twitter for my query was simple, I was sure that even if it was an earthquake our news channels web sites (which bye the way have improved alot on the breaking news coverage ) will still take some time, and 10 am is not a time to call any one at home to check the news channel. So I posted my query on twitter hoping some one would reply and within in few minutes of my posting this query , i received a reply from Jehan Ara telling me about the blast and that she has learned this from a tweet by Dr Awab (teethmaestro).
So here are some of the reasons twitter is picking up now in Pakistan, even with the flooding of news channels the first person reference is some thing always more powerfull, if the news is reporting a complete shutter down strike in a city (hostorically we will always doubt the accuracy of news channels), some one tweeting from there will actually give you a more real picture, reason that some one has no hidden interest in spreading false news, how it validates is also a very interesting phenomena, if you were lying some one would pick up and point you out and at a channel so wide and visibility so great you can’t risk your creditbility by lying about some thing. What this guarentees is a first person account is the community pressure to tell the truth and an audit in real time by the community it self.
For me the trend started with the long march, because a lot of people like us were in the long march some of them did an excellent job of keeping the twittter channel for long march updated. For me that provided the most accurate upto the minute account for the most historic movement of our times. after that i became hooked up.
So next time you are looking for breaking news, some real comments on a political or social scandal try out twitter and see if your experience is same as mine.