The Year According to Twitter: 2011's Top Tweets

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Asha Degree

7. "Earthquake" On March 11, when an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan many people used social media sites to make sure friends and family were safe and to publicize emergency response information. "You want to feel like you're not alone in this massive, massive experience that is potentially very scary," said Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. "To me it's about being able to reach out instantly and know that others are with you and others are experiencing the same thing and others are out there supporting and that's what you saw in Japan. You saw people reach out and say we're in an earthquake right now and then all around the world you have all these replies coming in to these Japanese people saying we're watching…it's OK…are you there?"

8. "Subtitles are always so bad. England, America, Switzerland put one uv repeat Scrollingverfahren + = high quality!" Julia Probst, a lip reader and soccer fan, reads the lips of soccer players and coaches during matches and tweets them, providing fans with a running dialogue that they would otherwise not be privy to. Her efforts extend beyond soccer to raise awareness for deaf and disabled people in politics and media. "It's completely uncensored and you never get to see that unless you are on the playing field," said Dorsey.

9. "Ercis central mosque behind the apartment building..." After the earthquake in Van, Turkey, news anchor Okan Bayulgen sent relief and aftershock information via Twitter. One of his followers gave him an address where people might be trapped alive under the rubble. Bayulgen shared the address with a relief agency, and two hours later the agency rescued two people at the location.

10. "Hey @Mortons - can you meet me at the newark airport with a porthouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)" On August 17, Twitter proved it could not only connect people, but also grant wishes. Peter Shankman tweeted: "Hey @Mortons - can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)." When he landed at the airport, a tuxedo-clad Morton's waiter was waiting for him with a steak, shrimp, a side of potatoes, bread, two napkins and silverware.

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