This summer, we had fires in the town I live in. From the back deck of my house, I could see the smoke and, as darkness descended, the flames that were threatening the homes in the hills above Kelowna. I had friends and co-workers that lived in the neighborhoods that were being evacuated, so I wanted to know what was happening as soon as possible.
I was sitting on the back deck, watching the progress of the fire through binoculars and monitoring Twitter on my laptop. My wife was inside the house, listening on the radio and watching on TV. Because I had an eyewitness perspective, I was able to judge the timeliness of our news channels and gained a new appreciation for the speed of social networks.