Last Friday night a big explosion was heard as part of the lobby ceiling of Caravelle, one of the top five-star hotels in HCMC, collapsed and injured several people. Unfortunately, we didn’t hear anything on Twitter regarding such an incident but a tweet citing news articles written about it. If this had happened elsewhere, people would have tweeted excessively as the case was the first of its kind in Vietnam, which might have led us to assuming that it was a terrorist attack.
Should we conclude that Twitter fails in Vietnam?
No. My take is that it’s not Twitter that fails, but rather our failure to embrace Twitter. My best guess was that many of us who witnessed the event must have blogged about it. And yesterday I saw a video clip on Yume.vn, a newly launched social network, covering the event. But not on Twitter. Nobody here except for a bunch of us talk about Twitter, even the local newspapers rarely mention about it in their articles.
IMHO, social media still play a very humble part in the life of Vietnamese and it takes some years to come for this new trend to overtake traditional media.
And for me, it seems that Twitter is a good tool to measure one country’s technological readiness. Even though it’s not concisely accurate , at the moment, most people on Twitter are technology enthusiasts. A lot of people in India, Thailand and Singapore are on Twitter right now. We’re not, which is sad.
However, one good piece of news is that we’re gonna have a Twitter clone for Vietnamese that allows people to tweet from their mobile phone via SMS messages. Let’s see how this works out. Chinese Twitter clones have outperformed Twitter, hopefully we can do it too. Hold your breath (thanks @khanhlnq for the hint).
Regarding the explosion, it seems to have been caused by methane gas.