It all began with a few mistaken @replies on Twitter and one hilarious response – “Btw, tweeting @Irene doesn’t deliver messages to the hurricane. Sorry.”
No surprise, this past weekend’s most trending topic was “#Irene”. With cancelled flights and mandatory evacuations, as long as people had the Internet, they could maintain a bit of sanity. Naturally, people from all over (the majority from the east coast) turned to Twitter to voice their frustration. But instead of using the common hashtag, many replied to @Irene, owned by Twitter user Irene Tien from New York.
When I first saw this tweet, besides thinking it was brilliantly witty, I couldn’t help but wonder what she’d do with all those mentions. Delete her account? Actually respond? As if it wasn’t annoying enough to accept the fact that your name would now be associated with one of the biggest weather headlines of the year, I can only imagine the amount of Twitter notifications Ms. Tien received that Friday afternoon.
Instead of ignoring these tweets, Tien and a few of her co-workers from the digital-media firm Huge Inc. looked at this as an opportunity to inform the Twitter world about this news breaking hurricane. From 823 followers to 6,000+ in less than 24 hours, I only wished I had thought of this first. The people behind @Irene maintained a funny and very useful Twitter account, and the number of followers continues to grow.
Note to self: If there’s ever a Hurricane Aimee, I’d be wise to claim the Twitter name @Aimee ASAP!