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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Social media in action as Fargo-Moorhead battles Mother Nature

We spend a lot of time sharing information about the rise of social media. Today, as people in the Fargo-Moorhead area struggle to create sandbag barriers to hold back the rising Red River, the situation provides some real-world examples of social media’s impact and why it is important.

Not that long ago, the mainstream media would have been people’s source for information about the rising water and how to help. But over the past few days, people have used the power of social networking to provide information, recruit volunteers, and share thoughts and concerns.

For instance, local residents have created the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Volunteer Network on Facebook to help recruit volunteer sandbaggers. Thousands of people have signed up for the network, making it a key way to organize volunteers.

Fargo-Moorhead residents, the media, government workers, and others with a connection to the area are also using Twitter to send and receive updates.

And for people who want to follow the river levels, there are new ways like this site to track the latest forecasts via weather services.

As preparations for the Red River crest continue, our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the Fargo-Moorhead area.