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Home > Focus > Volcanic ash disruption and Facebook

Volcanic ash disruption and Facebook

di Jonathan Hankins [1], 9 Maggio 2010

As I am sure everyone is aware the volcanic ash problem has recently caused a few travel problems for a few million people. Once again today (5th May) airspace is closed over much of Ireland and parts of Scotland and I find myself still trying to return to Italy after an enforced sea trip yesterday from Belfast to Fleetwood on account of two cancelled flights.

The crisis however highlights the fragility of our modern lifestyles, but also offers food for thought regarding a self-help ethos that this type of event promotes.

This week the BBC,s Dot. Rory blog [2] addresses the issue from the social networking point of view, offering an overview of how stranded passengers have used various social networking and previously existing websites such as roadshare [3]to organize alternative travel arrangements.

In the article Rory Cellan-jones claims that the closure of European airspace would have caused even more problems 5 years ago as people were not so connected and able to communicate with others in similar situations and to organize alternatives together. He obviously cites Facebook and Twitter proposals and raises the interesting question of possible democratic and structural changes in society caused by groups of people independently helping each other and themselves without reference to airlines, the state and other generally accepted channels.

The Facebook carpool Europe wall [4] is well worth a look, it really shows the potential that a well organized global network could offer. Giving its users the necessary tools to communicate and organize themselves seems to involve some form of empowerment. This could be important on a day like today when I need to recoup either some money or an alternative flight back to Milan but the helpline number published by the airline is dead.

At least they have free wi-fi here at Manchester airport!

(photo: Not So Helpful Help Point [5] - by BrotherMagneto from Flickr)

Mostra/Nascondi i link citati nell'articolo

Link citati nell'articolo:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Jonathan Hankins
  2. 2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/rorycellanjones/2010/04/getmehome_social_media_and_str.html
  3. 3] http://roadshare.com/
  4. 4] http://www.facebook.com/carpooleurope
  5. 5] http://www.flickr.com/photos/brothermagneto/2224407398/
CC Creative Commons - some rights reserved.
cc - photo by BrotherMagneto from Flickr
See also: The problem with social networking by Jonathan Hankins




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