Volcanic fall-out

The effect of social media as a general communications tool is being highlighted by the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption. There’s an interesting piece by BBC reporter and tech blogger Rory Cellan Jones on this.

The big emerging problem is the one being faced by travellers who expected to be back by Monday lunchtime, and instead find themselves kicking their heels in foreign parts. For who knows how long. If airlines had shut down en masse all over Europe this way five years ago, Cellan Jones points out, things would have been even tougher than they are now – at least this time they have access to social media networks, which are helping some of them get home.

There are a few initiatives on offer, for instance a Facebook group based in Sweden called to organise lifts and a clearing house for stranded travellers called . Individuals are also using Twitter to advertise their predicament and appeal for help, using the #getmehome hashtag to find alternative travel options and #putmeup to appeal for a place to stay until the ash clouds blow over.

You can read the full piece here.

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