I have been in Brisbane for the past few weeks visiting with family and friends, and therefore have had a front row seat to a “disaster of biblical proportions“.  I’m at a loss for words when I try to describe the enormity of the challenges presently facing this city.  I fail even harder when trying to describe the tragic images and stories I have heard.

Today, I don’t want to add to the tears that we’ve been shedding, but instead focus on a story that makes me proud to be a citizen of the Virtual Forest™. The Human Truth™ for this wave is: “I’m connected to a big world online”.

When we were sitting in our living room, wondering if our suburb was going under, I felt that connection so deeply… in a way that watching the TV coverage didn’t even come close too.  It was crucial to have info as fast as possible to make decisions about the impending threat.

This article from The Business Review Australia talks about the phenomenon of connecting through social networks and getting real-time updates and images that sometimes trumped the TV news by hours:

  • Facebook: Friends and family have instant knowledge and updates simultaneously from those they care about the most, sharing images and stories as the floods begin to recede
  • Twitter: A continuous stream of updates and newsworthy mentions from near, and heartfelt sympathy from afar
  • YouTube: Hosting a brilliant collection of footage from those right in the midst of it all

These networks have allowed us to connect in a truly different level, and the band of togetherness that holds Brisbane’s modern society intact seems to be allowing us to achieve this more directly.”

As the water subsides, the ENORMOUS job of cleaning up is only beginning… and once again the internet is headquarters for those wanting to pitch in and help.  Click here if you want to read about the inspirational selflessness and camaraderie of the citizens of Brisbane, that are rallying online to help their neighbours.  I’m proud to be Australian and have great love for the city of Brisbane, but the sharing, help and communication I have seen on my social networks over the past week, have made me extremely proud to also call myself a web native.

Here is an official flood relief appeal site if you feel moved to make a Donation.

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