So here in the north of England we felt some small earth tremors last night at about 1am. One man down the road from here actually had his chimney land on him. Fortunately, we seem to have escaped any real damage. It was an exciting few moments feeling the whole building shake around me, but after a quick check around the house (5 mins or so) I hit the net to see what I could find out. The British Geological Society website and the earthquake page at Edinburgh were both so overloaded that I couldn't even view the page. Any thoughts that this was a purely local event disappeared at that moment.
It reminded me of a couple of things:
1) If you weren't sure it was an earthquake (and I wasn't because we have a history of subsidence problems here) then the actions of the crowd alone, hammering these geological websites could tell you, well before the BBC reported it on their news pages. Score one for trend watching/wisdom of crowds approaches I suppose.
2) This is the speed that information spreads at in a modern, computer-filled organisation. So if you're in corporate/internal comms and there's an earthquake on the way - a statement to investors about job losses, perhaps - then you better have some quick response plans, because word will travel around your organisation quicker than you ever expect.