Wednesday, April 18, 2007

VA Tech and the Web

From Ryan Singel's article in Wired
Since 9/11, some security experts have pushed the idea that peer-to-peer alert systems that rely on openness and the crowd can save lives, particularly when centralized communications and decision-making break down.
As the carnage unfolded, [VA Tech] eyewitnesses IM'd terrifying firsthand accounts to their friends, some of which appeared on blogs and MySpace within minutes of the shootings.
The ability of the Virginia Tech community to use the available technology to organize itself quickly and effectively deserves great respect. In the debate about what could or should or might have been done to prevent this tragedy, it is well to remember that it could also have been much worse.

From the first 911 cell phone call from Norris, continuing through the effective use of sites like VA Tech Sideline, Live Journal, MySpace and Facebook to connect with friends and families, the members of the VA Tech community have been giving an exceptionally good account of themselves.

The Monday posting by Dr. Ishwar Puri, Professor and Department Head, Engineering Science and Mechanics, was a shining example of humanity, clarity and calm in the midst of emerging chaos. (My apologies for not providing the other links yet) UPDATED

Here is the timely and thorough Wikipedia entry for the Virginia Tech Massacre.

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