Once again, Twitter users break the news story faster than traditional media. Latest example: A tweeter on the ground at San Francisco Airport uploaded a photo of a Boeing 777 almost immediately after it crashed and burst into flames at 11:29 a.m. Pacific time.

Even a tweet from someone who says he was onboard the ill-fated aircraft! David Eun, a Samsung executive who was aboard the flight, sent out an online message immediately after the landing: “I just crash-landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m OK.”

Four years ago, a tweeter uploaded a photo to Twitter of a USAirways jet immediately after an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River, an image that went viral on the web well ahead of news media reports.

“The picture was taken by Twitter user Janis Krums, who posted the picture to Twitpic,” ComputerWorld.com reported. “He was on the scene before the TV cameras arrived and was able to inform Twitter users that people had survived and that rescuers were trying to pick them up (‘There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.’)”

Last May, Twitter announced it was expanding into the news operation, seeking someone to head its news and journalism department: “You will be responsible for devising and executing the strategies that make Twitter indispensable to newsrooms and journalists, as well as an essential part of the operations and strategy of news organizations and TV news networks. You should have a strong vision for the broad potential of Twitter and news, while also being able to rigorously manage and scale the news team’s daily impact.”

Bottom line: more and more people are turning to Twitter to get and report the news.

Speaking of Twitter, Twitchy – the collator or “curator” of Twitter’s trending and trendy topics and the brainchild of journalist, Fox News contributor and new media entrepreneur Michelle Malkin, is growing in popularity among those who like to keep up with the cutting edge in politics, media and entertainment.

“We’re mining Twitter to bring you ‘who said what’ in U.S. politics, global news, sports, entertainment, media and breaking news 24/7,” Malkin said when the site launched in March 2012.

How popular is Twitchy? Click here to see its rankings.

One of the top items curated over the past weekend:

“Ketchup in the Rye”: Kerry’s failboat folly leads to hilarious #JohnKerryYachtNames hashtag.

On Wednesday the State Department issued a denial that John Kerry was vacationing on his yacht in Nantucket (a denial that was retracted) while chaos ruled the day in Egypt. The denial, which was subsequently proven to be a lie, started a #JohnKerryYachtNames hashtag game that is still going today.

Twitchy listed several tweets offering comedy gold like this one: “Leading From BeHeinz.”

The one that got my vote? “Reporting for duty.” Be sure to read them all.

Related: Kerry: new #StateDeptMotto

Backtracking to the Boeing 777 crash in San Francisco, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was supposed to be aboard the flight from Seoul, South Korea, but changed her mind at the last minute.

She subsequently Facebooked her 1,207,576 followers: “Taking a minute to be thankful and explain what happened. My family, colleagues Debbie Frost, Charlton Gholson and Kelly Hoffman and I were originally going to take the Asiana flight that just crash-landed. We switched to United so we could use miles for my family’s tickets. Our flight was scheduled to come in at the same time, but we were early and landed about 20 minutes before the crash. Our friend David Eun was on the Asiana flight and he is fine. Thank you to everyone who is reaching out – and sorry if we worried anyone. Serious moment to give thanks.”

Daily habits of successful social media users

Twitter: Tweet every day – at least 4-5 times. Research published at Media Bistro shows that those who Tweet at least four or five times a day get best results. Interact with followers, retweet info you like, share information. Posting something relevant every hour works too.

Facebook: Share images and quotes. Facebook updates typically get responses for up to three hours after being posted. Spread out your posts. The content that does best on Facebook are images, short messages and quotes.

Here’s a tip for keeping up appearances on social media without spending every hour of every day tied to your computer: Use Buffer or Hootsuite to post for you at various intervals throughout the day for maximum impact. For more tips, click here.

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