Sebastian Alegria is 14 years old, a highschooler in Santiago, Chile. After experiencing eathquakes in his own country last year and seeing the horrible effects of the earthquake in Japan this year, he decided to start work on an early warning system. He bought himself a "Quake Alarm," (available online for $30+) and reworked the insides so that instead of setting off an alarm, it translated the information and, once sent to his computer, tweeted a warning about an imminent quake.
His account, @AlarmaSismos, has been live since May of this year, and he's already amassed just under 30,000 followers. It's for good reason too: Sebastian's system has successfully detected all of the major earthquakes that could be felt in Santiago since that time. He has hopes to improve his system and spread it across the country, possibly even sending text updates to people through their cell service providers. Apparently the Chilean government has/has had plans for a similar system, but the ingenuitive 14 year old beat them to the punch by an estimated year.
It's a great example of the power of social media, no matter who you are. You don't have to be a celebrity to gain 30,000 fans, you can be a regular 14 year old kid. As long as you're sharing information that people enjoy or find useful, there's nothing stopping your message from being spread all over the world. Yes, the digital age has also given us "celebrities" like Rebecca Black, catapulted to stardom through our sheer love of bad things for the sake of irony, but I suppose you have to take the good with the bad.
Best of luck to Sebastian Alegria; I'm sure there are only more great things to come from him. And as for Rebecca Black, well she has another single out...
You can read the whole story over at The Next Web.