One of my volunteer positions is Multimedia Manager for Rescue Global – an international search and rescue organization.
A team were recently in Costa Rica helping with the search for missing US Grad student David Gimelfarb from Chicago. Also helping with the search were the Red Cross, and a US Military team sent to assist from Honduras.
Throughout the mission, I was being fed live reports from the field, which went direct to various media outlets, including the Rescue Global website www.resqglobal.org and Twitter etc.
More than 1,000 people also signed up to the ‘Help Find David Gimelfarb’ Facebook page – these numbers alone caught media attention.
We were contacted by a journalist from the Chicago Tribune in the US to comment on how social networking sites such as Facebook, affect mobilizing support and a campaign to help search for someone like David. Below is what I was quoted as saying…
“There are so many people that it becomes like a critical mass, and decision-makers find it hard to resist,” said Roger Hyde, multimedia manager for London-based Rescue Global, a private search-and-rescue operation now involved in the hunt for Gimelfarb. “I don’t know that we would have been made aware of it had it not been for Facebook. Without social media, none of this would have happened.”
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