by Emily Jasper on February 27, 2009

The Twin Cities had a little bit of snow yesterday. And by a little bit, some parts got as much as 3” in one hour. My little suburb got 7” when all was said and done. Now, this is Minnesota, snow isn’t really that big of a deal here. It falls, gets pushed around all winter, and then you hope it melts without causing a flash flood.

Yesterday, while many people worried about how to get home or pick up kids in white-out conditions, it would appear a party was going on online. Thanks to Twitter, #snowmageddon became the saving grace.

For those who don’t know, putting a hash in front of any word allows a searchable “conversation” to be tracked. It’s kind of like getting invited to a party with a special code word.

These little parties happen every day, and this is not the first snowmageddon by any means, but yesterday, thousands of tweets led to this to be the highest thread for the day.

Sure, none of this is a surprise for Midwesterners, but some of the tweets themselves bring back that warm-fuzzy feeling of people who look on the bright side of things.

For instance, someone tweeted: The 3A slid off the road and now we’re picking up the passengers. #snowmageddon.

Others coordinated with spouses and coworkers, many sending wishes of luck while people tried to get home. Those who aren’t even from the Twin Cities participated, many sending words about sun and fun from places like Florida and Southern California.

You even saw clever marketing being used: @NWAWV #snowmageddon $10 off vacation package 4 every inch of snow at MSP airport by 12am CST!

The snow emergency procedures were regularly being posted, in addition to traffic updates. People are still tweeting this morning about successful commutes into work, donut runs, and working breakfasts because the office is still snowed in.

Why is this so fascinating to me? Because it’s my first winter in Minnesota. I was getting real-time updates about what was happening, especially since my phone signal was minimal. Sure, I could look out the window and see white, but weather stations were letting us know how much more to expect, and at what time it would final slow. That’s much more accurate than going to http://www.weather.com/.

You also saw people helping each other out, making requests across the interweb and getting responses. This was an extremely coordinated effort, and today, many messages talk of surviving #snowmageddon.

We’ll probably get another storm next week and do this all over again. Maybe it will be #snowpacolypse. Will you join the party?

The views expressed in my blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.