Tag Archives: twitter

Response #2: Making Connections With Social Media

The volcanic ash over European air space is putting quite a strain on airline travelers this week. An interactive map on the New York Times website tracks cancellations in real-time. Many travelers are turning to technology and social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter for support, taking advantage of their many offerings in order to share information and build communities.

A couple stranded in London had quite a tale and decided to spread their story through a Facebook group titled When Volcanoes Erupt: A Survival Guide for Stranded Travelers. The group enables stranded passengers to share stories and offer advice. It currently has more than 1,600 members. The most popular hashtags among stranded passengers include #ridesharing, #getmehome and #putmeup.

Major airliners including United Airlines and British Airways are also turning to social media channels in order to reach their customers and keep them up-to-date on the latest information. Customers are very helpful in sharing this information by retweeting, enabling news to spread more rapidly.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg traveled to Washington, DC last week for the Nuclear Summit. According to Mashable, he is still stuck in the nation’s capital. Stoltenberg’s press secretary said he is “running the Norwegian government from the U.S. on his new iPad.”

For a couple stuck in Dubai on the day of their London wedding, modern technology enabled them to carry on with their nuptials while their family observed the event from London via webcam.

From the Haiti and Chinese earthquakes to the Iceland volcanic eruption, we are learning just how valuable social media and innovative technology can truly be.

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Weekly #9: Kenya’s Voices

Global Voices is a wonderful community of nearly 200 bloggers that work to translate and share social media commentary from around the world. Its mission is to “aggregate, curate and amplify the global conversation online – shining a light on places and people other media often ignore.” The community abides by a manifesto, which outlines its belief in free speech: the right to speak and the right to listen. The site provides online training, tutorials and open source tools for people around the world to use safely to express their views.

Site visitors can search for content by geographic location (country or region) as well as by topic area. I specifically studied the various blog postings related to Kenya. Two particular stories are featured on the top of the page that have completely different topics. The first discusses a massive flash flood, which hit the northern part of the country and destroyed tourist lodges and wildlife research camps. The second story focused on transparency in technology. Approximately three blog posts related to Kenya are added each month. The community is incredibly  active in commenting and expressing their viewpoints.

The site is a great way for people to stay updated on interesting news from around the globe. Users can sign up to receive weekly summaries of news articles via e-mail. Global Voices also manages a Twitter feed @globalvoices, a Facebook page and a YouTube channel to further engage the community.

According to Quantcast, the site has 58,800 unique monthly visitors. Twenty four percent of which are located within the United States. The site predominantly attracts a male audience that is highly educated and of Asian descent.

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