Jul 14, 2011

#Mumbaiblasts - how people used social media to help themselves

Municipal Corporation of Greater MumbaiImage via WikipediaYesterday, I wasn't online till later at 9 pm. On my Google+ stream I saw links to a blog post being posted by Dina Mehta it was called "Can we help?"

Alarmed I scanned Google+, Facebook, Twitter to find that Mumbai had been rocked by three bomb blasts in busy areas like Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar Kabootarkhana.

The blog post provided links to various resources people could call and know.

Then I saw another post on Google+. Someone has started compiling a Google document on who was offering help and who needed help. The document was to ensure that people who were stranded in these areas could get back home in case the traffic situation worsened.

People then on Twitter started two hashtags, offering help using #heretohelp and #here2help and those who needed help, using #needhelp

A wikipedia page was soon up and running, and a spreadsheet with the people who were available to donate blood was also compiled.

So as mainstream media was debating on who was responsible and why the attacks took place where they took place, ordinary citizens turned to eachother, with tools to communicate and collaborate and helped each other.

So when people mock the hackneyed term "The spirit of Mumbai" I disagree with them - I have seen exactly what it means!
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