By now I'm sure we've all seen the incredible tourist cell phone photo of the NYPD officer giving a homeless man a pair of shoes. This Storify story put together by journalist Bill Mitchell on Poynter does a terrific job of highlighting the power of social media and the speed news can travel at today.
The photo was posted on the New York Police Department's Facebook page just last Tuesday and on Thursday night, it had nearly 445,000 likes. According to Mitchell's Storify post, by the next morning the photo had surpassed half a million likes, over 38,000 comments and 181,000 shares. New York Times ran a story on it Thursday morning and the author of the story, J. David Goodman had posted the story on his Twitter account and was tweeting updates as the act of kindness was getting more and more news coverage and even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had tweeted the original story.
In addition, the story made the Yahoo home page, the front pages of several newspapers as shown by Mitchell in his Storify story, and both the tourist, Jennifer Foster, and the officer, Lawrence DePrimo were on the Today Show chatting with host Savannah Guthrie Friday morning. The story was re-tweeted many times on Twitter. The Storify story does a great job of visualizing the events, shows the breadth of the coverage and also gives viewers a chance to get more information on the story by clicking the various elements.