On the Usefulness of Blogging and Tweeting: Earthquake in Haiti

Feeling so sad as I read the live reports of the earthquake in Haiti, see for instance the continuously updated BBC report here.

This people that has been through so much, why? Today, I think of my colleague with Haitian roots, my college friend from Haiti and my UN-peacekeeper friend who used to live in Port-au-Prince. I think of their friends and their families.

As I was driving to work this morning, they said on the radio that communication with Haiti has collapsed and it will take time before we know the scale of the disaster. However, at that time, I had already read a number of tweets from Haiti.

Citizen media, including blogs, video reports and Twitter are becoming more influential as sources of information these days. See Global Voices' Georgia Popplewell's early tweet-based report here , her colleague Janine Mendes-Franco later account here or problogger Dan Kennedy's extensive compilation of citizen media about the Haiti Earthquake here.

If anyone ever doubted that blogging and tweeting could go beyond navel gazing, I guess today we have evidence of the contrary.

Hopefully this access to on the ground information will also make a difference to the Haitian people.


Denise said...

Hey Kasja - was also listening to the BBC reports. We had a guest at our Rotary Club yesterday - she is Ghanaian but living there and a member of the civilian peace keeping force there. She mentioned that several of her colleagues had died or were missing. She wasn't there because she had changed her return flight (she was supposed to have gone back last weekend). She has been frantically trying to get in touch with another Ghanaian who works there with her - no luck yet. Really, really sad.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

Wow, that IS coming close to the disaster. It must be horrible to fear for friends and colleagues. Life is so random.

Hope you are well, Denise.

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