Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Salute to Mumbai – Sustained the Blasts with True Spirit and Judicious Use of Technology, Social Media

Mumbai is back in action today despite yesterday’s serial bomb blasts. Schools are open, shops are functional, locals are running and people are already in offices. Mumbai and its people have shown that nothing can stop them - again this time.

Yesterday after the blasts, I preferred being on Twitter and Facebook rather than watching the senseless coverage on various TV channels. I am amazed and proud to see the way people used social media and technology yesterday. Rather than spreading ridiculous rumors and discussing who was behind the attacks and why the attacks could have happened, the netizens chose to use social media for a better cause. 

Twitter was flooded with messages about the blasts. The latest news were posted through #mumbaiblasts hashtag whereas the tweets about help were tagged with #here2help and #heretohelp. Those who needed help tagged their message with #needhelp. Twitter was also used to share hospital numbers, blood requirements or cab availabilities.

Hat’s off to the person who thought of creating a Google Spreadsheet of all the help numbers and details regarding help in terms of stay, food, ride or even help in passing on the messages. Who says there is no discipline in India? The open-to-all document was full of relevant information without a single incorrect detail.  

Facebook status updates passed on similar information about latest news and help numbers/ details. Many Facebook pages which have a large fan following decided to use that fan following to spread relevant information and help details.

Radio Jockey offered to air live messages for those who could not be contacted.

I received messages to just update the Blackberry messenger status to notify where I am and if I am safe or not. Amazing! So much thought in using the technology to ensure that the mobile network is not blocked with unnecessary calls.

I think I am too small to praise those who have shown the courage and strength to sustain such attacks. I can just salute the Mumbaikars and the netizens! 

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