Terror in Mumbai and the evolution of crisis communications
Several hours ago, three explosions hit the Indian city of Mumbai. At the current time (18h00 GMT), reports suggest seventeen people have been killed and 81 injured.
Less than three years after the siege of 26/11, the citizens of Mumbai are facing the consequences of another terror attack. It is hardly a surprise that people are using Twitter to communicate, but its use as a tool for crisis communications is evolving.
Back in 2008, I suggested that an eyewitness tag on Twitter, such as #EW, would help people identify relevant material from the vast torrent of tweets that were being posted about Mumbai.
In 2011, Twitter users have taken things beyond my rather simple idea by organising a number of separate hashtags to relay information.
Rather than only using one hashtag (#Mumbai) as many people did three years ago, today the Twitter users of Mumbai have started posting to:
In addition, as Guardian journalist Laura Oliver has pointed out, Indians are putting together a shared spreadsheet to coordinate useful contact information in real time.