The best Boston marathon video was shot by amateurs

Yesterday's tragedy in Boston was more proof that personal video shot by mobile devices is the new medium for breaking events. A host of videos are showing up on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube today showing the shocking events as seen near the explosion site, from elsewhere on the marathon route, and from various vantage points of the cleanup operation and investigation on the day after.

Many of the videos are Vines, short, pithy loops showing the explosions themselves, or various short clips of media coverage or personal reactions.

One Vine video, derived from news coverage by "Doug," provided many of us with our first look at the disaster yesterday. It was in fact the best camera shot of the actual explosion that was available. Major news sites like MSNBC and Huffington Post featured the Vine on their homepages yesterday.

Anne London's Vine shows the crowd of runners who were stopped from continuing toward the finish line after the bombs went off.

Michael Moxley: "Ambulances everywhere."

Vine user Mike Morrison: "Lowering the last flag at Union Station."

Another Vine user, "adamxdangelo" describes his Vine this way: "As close as I could get to the marathon finish line one day later."

Some of the explosion footage couldn't be condensed into a six-second loop. For longer videos at the site of the explosion, Bostonians turned to YouTube to upload scenes from the marathon.

Bystander "Fatality Snow" captured seven seconds of the second explosion.

Another YouTube user, "massagenerd," turned the camera on following the first explosion and documented panicked witnesses in the bleachers as the second bomb exploded.

Some marathon runners were shooting video during the race; one athlete was filming as the first explosion rocked the finish line.

Some of the footage is difficult to watch, but shaky smartphone recordings of the blasts may be key to figuring out what happened at the marathon and who was responsible. Boston police are asking eyewitnesses to submit any videos they have of the race, as they might contain valuable clues.

Thomas Travagli and Hayden Dingman contributed to this story.

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