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Social Media: Haiti's First Responder

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Social Media's true value was confirmed by the way the world responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Social Media's true value was confirmed by the way the world responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Published in: Technology, Travel, Business

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  • 1. Social Media: Haiti’s First Responder By: Conrad Lisco
  • 2. The value of social media has been a source of tension and debate since it’s rapid ascent to the most disruptive media channel in recent history.
  • 3. But its true value was confirmed by the way the world responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. From on-the-ground relief efforts to gestures of sympathy, the world reacted in a new [media] way.
  • 4. Social Media was critical to delivering information about damage and relief efforts. The world was counting on platforms like Facebook and Twitter to get updates on what’s happening.
  • 5. Preliminary analysis of data showed that micro-blogs (e.g. Twitter) were the leading source of discussion about the quake, followed by online video, blogs and other online boards/forums.
  • 6. Within minutes, photos and videos were shared on Flickr and YouTube. A Brazilian soldier reveals amazing footage he captured on his cell phone moments after Haiti's main cathedral collapsed during a devastating earthquake.
  • 7. The New York Times blog, The Lede, regularly posts with news about the quake. It began with an editor’s note reading, “Some Haitians have turned to the Web to share information about the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck about 10 miles southwest of the capital of Port- au-Prince on Tuesday evening. Any readers who are in Haiti or in touch with people there are encouraged to use the comment thread below to share first-hand accounts with us, or to point to them on other Web sites.”
  • 8. And that’s not all The New York Times is doing...they (and others)are providing new means of communicating and getting stories out about the disaster zone. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/01/17/world/americas/haiti-earthquake-multimedia.html
  • 9. http://www.beextra.org/haiti
  • 10. http://haiticrisis.appspot.com/
  • 11. With telephone service destroyed due to the earthquake, those on the ground turned to Skype to speak with the media, aid organizations or to communicate with loved ones overseas.
  • 12. Text message donations flooded charities around the world.
  • 13. Thirty-nine percent of Facebook users in the U.S., U.K. and Australia have donated money or goods to relief efforts – 13 percent through SMS. Link: http://bit.ly/6KGyD9
  • 14. With a deadly act of nature like this, it's hard to make sense of it all. And although the scale of the devastation is unprecedented, so too is the the global response. New forms of media are making it easier for us to respond - faster, bigger and more efficiently.
  • 15. All this despite the fact that only 10% of Haiti's 9 million people have access to the Internet.
  • 16. If you enjoyed this presentation (or at least enjoy using social media), please visit www.redcross.org and support the relief efforts in Haiti. Thanks. Conrad Twitter: www.twitter.com/conradlisco Blog: www.proseandconrad.com