Facebook networks for a social cause
Facebook took a new colour on Friday when a network group was launched to rally relief for flood victims in remote Bihar. Narayanan Madhavan reports.india Updated: Aug 29, 2008 23:52 IST
Facebook, an Internet social networking site usually associated with youngsters congregating online for fun and friendship, took a new colour on Friday when a network group was launched to rally relief for flood victims in remote Bihar. It was symbolic of what quickly formed networks can be used for in the connected world of Internet buzzing with youthful energy.
“I saw the images of devastation and said we must do something,” said Shubho Sengupta, who is national creative director in ad agency Interactive Avenues.
Sengupta found a UK-based Activist of Bihari Origin, which can alert friends or discuss the issue. Getting 11 volunteers in a matter of hours, he expects “friend feeds” to move people “in a viral way” and help raise awareness and coordination. He approached the Red Cross and listed the numbers and the Website address which are now mentioned on the Bihar Flood Relief group site (http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=29084675665&ref=nf).
The Internet is fast emerging as a rallying tool for social work. In 2001, people of Kutch origin from across the world used their community website (www.panjokutch.com) to rally relief for Gujarat earthquake victims.
On July 26, 2005, when floodwaters threw Mumbai out of gear, volunteers used blogs to communicate and raise awareness.