Flight 1549, bin Laden and the TSA: Tweets that broke the news - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Flight 1549, bin Laden and the TSA: Tweets that broke the news

Jacob Jester says he wasn't trying to become famous when he took this picture of a baby patdown. (Source: @jacobjester via Yfrog) Jacob Jester says he wasn't trying to become famous when he took this picture of a baby patdown. (Source: @jacobjester via Yfrog)

(RNN) - As the Hudson River ferry closed in on U.S. Air Flight 1549, Janis Krums put his iPhone to the dirty window, snapped a photo and uploaded it to Twitter.

Krums then rushed, with others on the ferry, to the 155 passengers stranded on the wings of the plane floating in the icy river. He didn't know that in a few short hours, he and his photo would be wanted by hundreds of news organizations.

"Several people took photos … I was the only one to actually tweet it," Krums said.

On-the-go social media was in its infancy in January 2009, and the immediate attention the Hudson photo garnered was so great, the site hosting it, TwitPic, crashed.

Now, internet-capable smart phones are everywhere, and people are documenting and sharing all of the world's events as they happen. The immediacy has shifted the world's eyes further from the traditional media of TV and newspapers and more toward social networking as a source for news.

So what do you do when your sharing of the news makes you the news?

@jkrums: "http://twitpic.com/135xa - There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy."

That night, shortly after getting back on dry land, Krums looked at his phone and had a sense that something big was happening, but didn't know what, Krums explained in his blog. Inside the ferry terminal, he was interviewed by MSNBC and CNN.

"The initial shock of every news organization wanting you is crazy," Krums said.

The next day, he was broadcast to the nation on Good Morning America, 20/20, Inside Edition, BBC, CNN with Rick Sanchez and featured on several local news shows.

Krums said he initially did 20 interviews and has amassed more than 100 since. Now, more than two years later, he still receives interview request every few weeks.

@jacobjester: "Just saw #tsa agents patting down a little baby at @KCIAirport Pretty sure that's extreme. Check the pic. http://yfrog.com/gzlb9nkj"

"I'm not interested in becoming famous by causing a stir within the nation," said Jacob Jester, whose Saturday, May 7 photo of Kansas City International's TSA agents patting down a baby went viral.

Jester, an evangelical preacher and self-proclaimed "Twitter hound," was surprised and amused by the attention he received after his photo was featured on the Drudge Report the next day.

By Monday, he was featured on Kansas City news networks, and then Good Morning America on Tuesday.

But things suddenly turned when the photo was perceived as a political message. Jester started receiving emails and letters to his personal addresses from individuals praising and criticizing him for exposing the TSA.

Jester said he's neither pro- or con-TSA. The frequent traveler, who said he has been scanned and patted down himself, accepts it as a part of traveling. But a baby seems to strike a different chord.

"No matter who you are, it's an extreme thing," Jester said.

He said he didn't want to become a voice for either side of any movement involving the TSA. By Wednesday night - just four days later - he stopped accepting interview request.

@ReallyVirtual: "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it."

Sohaib Athar, a software consultant living in Abbottabad, Pakistan, gained world-wide attention after he and his followers discussed the events that were later discovered to be the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Swarms of international journalist flocked to the site of the raid and surrounding areas. Athar was interviewed more than a dozen times by various media outlets, but has mostly remained a voice on Twitter.

Athar has used his social network presence to document the events of his city through his eyes, sometimes countering reports from outsiders, to his followers - who now top 100,000.

"I don't enjoy the 'fame' as much as I like the fact that my followers are also holding conversations amongst themselves," Athar wrote in an email, "and that not all of their conversations revolve around Pakistan bashing."

More than two weeks after Navy SEAL Team Six raided the bin Laden compound, most of the international media has left Abbottabad, and life is slowly returning to normal, Athar said.

Although the shock of being thrust into the spotlight has affected them in different ways, they have let their experiences sway their love for social media.

Krum seems to be the one who is happiest with the aftermath of his viral tweet. He said it's great to be part of the Miracle on the Hudson story.

He promotes the power of social media stating, "Everyone's sharing and if you have great content, you will be rewarded for it."

As for Jester, he still loves social media.

"The power of social media right now is very strong and tense," Jester said.

But the man who snapped a picture of the patdown to share with his friends and followers, is ready to avoid the tense and for it all to be over.

Copyright 2011 the Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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