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Social Networking and the Christchurch Earthquake

As New Zealand has two minutes silence a week after the earthquake I would like to share my deepest sympathy.

Whilst the disaster unfolded last week I found myself on social networking sites which had sprung up as centres of communication. To me this showed the true value of those sites, forget the self indulgent "I feel a bit stressed" "Had a difficult day" type posts - this was about reaching out and helping as no other medium could.

Facebook had been used to link over 100,000 NZ students who were organising themselves to travel to Christchurch and help with the clear up in conjunction with the civil authorities

On Twitter, people posted enquiries about friends and relatives that were missing - and some were lucky enough to get a positive response.

Also on Facebook was one of the most moving sites - ordinary individuals posting up their offer of accommodation for those who had lost everything. The site was filled with things like - "can take two or three if you are OK on an airbed in the lounge" "bring your pets it is no problem" "we will collect you at the airport - just come"

Strangers reaching out to strangers in a time of crisis - surely one of social networking's finest hours.

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