During the shooting in 2007, Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Times did not have a tool for publishing real-time updates and informing fellow students about what they had reported. On Thursday, the newspaper’s Twitter account, @collegiatetimes, was providing updates every few minutes, quickly becoming a source for information about the shooting and the response on campus as students and staff members were locked down during the afternoon. Twitter became even more critical when the newspaper’s Web site crashed and the staff was evacuated from the newspaper office and moved to a secured area. (The paper’s Web site redirected to the Twitter feed.) The editors also posted Twitter updates on the newspaper’s Facebook page. Within a few hours, the paper’s Twitter following grew by more than 18,000 — to more than 20,000 from 2,000 just before the news broke.