IBN Live: Mumbai Crisis Sends People Blogging and Twittering


by Raheel Khurshid and Piya Hingorani

As the Mumbai terror tragedy plays out on TV Screens across the world, the hostage drama has the internet abuzz.

Not just blogging, the Net-savvy are Twittering, Facebooking, Flickering and Youtubing the Mumbai Mayhem.

Mumbaikar Asfaq Tapia is updating the website Twitter almost every second. He uses compact 140 character updates or micro-blogs called tweets.

Tapia is uploading real time information faster than most news channels and getting Mumbai together to donate blood.

Asfaq is an online activist and citizen journalist, both rolled into one.

“You have a lot of information coming in, like about people in need of blood donation. There are others who require emergency numbers from somewhere. Or there are some who say, hang on, I have the number for the emergency services at the J J Hospital and here it is. So, we tend to update such stuff on the internet, which gets picked up by other people and they would in turn, spread it around to others who require it!” said Tapia.

While Twitter overtook all online outlets in terms of usage with hundreds of people twittering every minute, Facebook subscribers came together to express anger through their status messages.

Youtube got users to post videos of the drama unfolding in Mumbai in large numbers and photo sharing site Flickr saw a stream of compelling pictures of the tragedy posted online.

Even Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan appeared shocked in his blog.

“My pain has been (caused by) the sight and plight of my innocent and vulnerable and completely insecure countrymen, facing the wrath of this terror attack,” the Big B wrote on his blog.

Mumbai based bloggers sought to offer help though their blogs.

Mumbaihelp.blogspot.com not only just put the casualty list out, but posted the emergency numbers of the affected hotels and nearby hospitals.

For thousands of young as well as net savvy men and women, traditional media outlets have taken a back seat and New Media is taking over as the primary choice of information flow.

The cellphone is undermining the TV remote and the broadband connection is making the cable connection redundant.