Blizzard Time-Lapse Shows How Amateur Footage of News Events Can Go Viral

Blizzard Time-Lapse Shows How Amateur Footage of News Events Can Go Viral

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In the past couple years, Twitter has become a viable method of reporting and reading about breaking news events.  It gives citizen journalists–and professionals as well–a way to publish news stories as they happen, long before the television news can scrape together an urgent news bulletin.  And video is quickly proving that it has the same power. Video cameras are cheaper and more powerful than ever, and most allow instant uploading to online video portals like Vimeo or YouTube.  And while traditional TV news might still report a story first, the online video community is carving out a nice niche for itself as an alternative source of high-quality footage.  The news channels are no longer the only source for footage of breaking news events.

This morning, as the world scours the web for video footage of the gigantic blizzard that rocked the East Coast last night, one amateur has provided a more compelling clip than any news outlet.  I  just saw a jaw-dropping video of last night’s blizzard on the East Coast, and I wanted to share it.  If you’re like me, and you don’t live in the Northeast U.S., then you might not truly appreciate how much snow that area got last night.  You may have seen news reports, or heard some snowfall numbers, but you still don’t really “get” the sheer enormity of the blizzard… yet.

You will after you watch this video.  It’s a simple time-lapse video of someone’s back yard, and it’s beautiful and frightening all at once.  Take a look:

Every time I thought the snowfall was nearly over, it would just keep going.  How many times did the creator have to go dig out that poor little clock?

Seriously, that’s what it looks like when you get 2-3 feet of snow in less than 24 hours.  And it should give those of us that were unaffected by the storm a bit of perspective on why everyone was freaking out about it–the NFL even postponed a game because of the blizzard, which is a rather unprecedented move.

The news has been showing plenty of footage of the aftermath… cars slipping and sliding (or abandoned altogether), still shots of snow-covered landscapes.  But to see it go from nothing to snowed-in, all in just 37 seconds, gives a much better picture of the event than any aftermath footage ever could.  Which kind of explains why this Vimeo video has over 100,000 views despite having been uploaded roughly four hours ago–I expect that number to skyrocket throughout the day.


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