Wow….that was my first reaction yesterday-evening when I heard the news about the Pukkelpop disaster. What should have been a huge party, turned into a nightmare with (as I’m writing this post)’ 5 confirmed death and many seriously injured. Off course my respect goes out to all those families….
So why blogging about this event….well, it was a very good example on the true power of social media. Where old school media (sms, telephone) failed, Twitter and Facebook stood up to help all those worried people out there. With the #pp11 #ppok people where reaching out to friends and family.
The Twitter community picked it up, and huge Twitterpeople like Bart Dewaele (@netlash) started retweeting messages from people reaching out: saying they where ok, but also offerings for a warm bed, transport, … were retweeted. Many others followed in his footsteps. Twitter even suspended the account of @netlash for a while because they thought he was spamming the network.
Facebook was also used to tell people they where ok…many communities, groups and pages where started for paying respect to the death and injured people. Off course a couple misplaced pages saw the light of day … But communities like ‘RIP slachtoffers noodweer Pukkelpop 11’ already have 52400 ‘fans’ paying there respects!
Who failed…traditional communication networks and ….? The organisation (and local government) did a hell of a job organising shelter, transport, … but forgot to use the social media to communicate through this crisis. This is a pity, because they neglected it’s real power: fast communication to a huge community (who is using it!).