This week's terrible events in the 17-million metropolis of Mumbai triggered a similar response from bloggers and internet users. Blogs such as MumbaiHelp (which was created shortly after the 2005 Tsunami) have proven to be incredibly helpful for dozens of people looking to hear from or contact their loved ones. Both Wikipages and wikinews pages, updated regularly during the day, were invaluable for those wanting to follow the news as it happened. New forms of solidarity are being brought to life by new technologies.
Several blogs accomplished just the same goal by connecting people to one another and providing a space for discussion where people can seek answers to difficult questions. Mumbai-based Ultrabrown and Sepia Mutiny’s "7/11" entries offered extensive and frequent updates which were widely picked up (the latter received more than 280 compassionate, desolate and often angry comments). Elsewhere, someone noted that the citizens who witnessed the blasts were the first ones to generate proper news content used by the corporate, traditional media sources: “they had a number for people to MMS images and video from the scene, so the first images [I saw] were video from camera phones.”
These new forms of networking are progressively changing the way people apprehend both news-making and crisis management. If 11 July will be painfully remembered as a day when despicable violence was inflicted on innocent civilians, it could also be remembered as a day when millions of internet users worldwide witnessed solidarity in action – a resonant ‘no’ to violence and terrorism.
Elsewhere: Global Voices’ round up of blogs on the Mumbai’s blasts. India Uncut and Pajamas Media both offer an impressive collection of related links.