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It was only three paragraphs long and an unfortunate news item about a road traffic accident reported in the local Wiltshire newspaper. But what happened next shows the power of comment and dialogue that applies itself to almost everything online these days.
It took a few hours - unusual for the internet - but chipper from Chippenham picked up on mis-reporting of the location and commented on the 'paper's website beneath the article. The comments that followed swung between the pedantic, the humourous and the downright bizarre.
Most amusing, or perhaps saddest, of all was the fact that it took a further seven days before anyone decided to ask the condition of the people involved in the accident. By this time, the conversation had been spotted by a regular automotive social media commentator.
And so the story progresses with various people picking up the Tweet, reading the article and, in my case, blogging about it.
All for just three relatively short sentences. It may not have been the most compelling content, or even a particularly significant news story (thankfully everyone involved in the incident was more or less unharmed), but it just shows the diverse paths that news can travel in the internet age. It also adds further ammunition to those of us who train organisations to face the challenges of handling communication in a crisis.
Published 8th November, 2010