Saturday, 9 February 2008

Camden Market Fire, Citizen Journalism, Google and the way that news spreads

We received a phonecall from a friend at around 21.00 to ask if we could smell smoke, because Camden Market was on fire. We couldn't smell anything or see anything out of the window so I went to Google and typed in 'Camden Market Fire.'

The top Natural Search result for 'Camden Market Fire' is not from the BBC or Sky News though - it is from the Jerusalem Post!

At first I didn't realise the link was for an international publisher. I saw the headline 'Major fire breaks out at London's famous Camden Market' and clicked on it. Via Google, a news publisher from over 2000 miles away told me what was happening less than a mile from my home. This shows how important good SEO strategy should be for news publishers!

As this was so close I decided to go and look for myself. I assumed the role of Citizen Reporter and went to take photos of the Camden Market Fire. Most of the area around the Camden Market Fire was sealed off, so I took some photos and came home. As I was leaving I saw professional photographers running towards the scene and since leaving a news helicopter has started circling - Sky News now has a continuous broadcast.

I have uploaded my photos to Flickr ( and to my Facebook profile. I will now post this article and will also add it to Digg and Reddit. (Since starting to type this my Flickr photos have had a number of views, I am interested to see how much traffic they will generate - have I beaten the professionals?)

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