Came across this 3 minute video which dramatically demonstrates the speed and power of social media. This is a time lapse video containing screen captures of the Wikipedia page about Flight 1549. It portrays 176 different edits to the page which occurred in the first 90 minutes after the crash:
Original source: DailyMotion video
My source: this airline blog
It occurs to me that the same simple technique could be used to capture the dynamics of any actively breaking news story on wikipedia. The author used Screengrab extension for Firefox and Apimac Slideshow. Then it appears he just iterated through the history of pages stored on the Wiki site. We ought to do this for the next big news story. For example, I notice that on the wikipedia Mumbai Attacks page, there were 328 edits in the first six hours. Discounting the "minor" edits there were still 85 major changes.