The first news of the terrorist bombings in London didn't come to me via the TV or the radio.
I was alerted by a comment by someone in an internet relay chat (IRC) channel that I tend to hang around in.
Within a minute, an email popped into my inbox, with the subject line "explosion in London". It was sent to a mailing list by someone in Bristol, who had just taken a phone call from his brother, who works in an office on Tavistock Square.
It read: "Looks like a bus has been blown up in London. My brother can see the smoke from his office window."
At this point, I switched on the radio, then the TV, to get more information.
I relate this story not as an attempt to show how cleverly connected I am, but to make a point about today's media.
Increasingly, it is ordinary people who are starting to make the news, and deliver it to the rest of us.
On the IRC channel, much of the rest of the day was spent relaying snippets of news to one another and elsewhere on the internet, thousands of people turned to official and unofficial news sites to find out more about what was happening, and to contact loved ones. As mobile phone connections became harder to find in London during the day, email messages were suddenly a far more useful way of telling someone you were OK.
On Flickr (flickr.com), the photo-sharing website, dozens of people began posting pictures of the day's events.
As the nation saw on the evening TV news, mobile phone images and video footage showed the true horror of darkness and smoke-filled tunnels for those trapped in underground trains.
Many of these images were posted to Flickr by people who had just emerged from those tunnels, led to safety by London Underground staff.
Some of those images were subsequently used by professional news outlets, including television news channels and national newspapers.
For some people, the amateur and semi-professional news coverage of the events provided by ordinary people on the internet was as good as, or from some perspectives, better than the coverage by traditional TV and radio.
New technology lies behind all this. The ubiquitous camera phone, and the ease and low cost of publishing text and images online (a basic Flickr account is free) means anyone can become a photojournalist if they've witnessed important events.
The authorities have not been slow to notice that millions of Londoners are equipped with camera phones, and that every picture taken on or near public transport that day is potentially an important piece of evidence.
The Metropolitan Police issued a request for anyone with images they took of the events, or the hours leading up to the explosions, to email them to imagesmet.police.uk.
It was noticeable that, after a few days, some online publications began to express their defiance of the terrorists. A website called We're Not Afraid (werenotafraid.com) invited people to email in their messages of support, and of course, people did.
* Giles Turnbull has a website at gilest.org