The Asian tsunamis sparked a more than a wave of salt water; they've sparked a flood on the internet:
The Internet has played an unprecedented role supplying aid, money and information in the aftermath of the Asian tsunamis.I suspect I can't even imagine the uses which will become common place in the next few years. Where, indeed, will it stop?
Hours after the first waves crashed onto the coastlines, an electronic movement was underway. Donations poured into aid agencies through Web sites. Friends, relatives and strangers scoured the Internet for information about missing relatives and tsunami survivors.
Individuals, linked by an electronic network from text messages to Web sites, began answering pleas for help, releasing list of survivors and funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to aid agencies even as authorities struggled to gain control of the situation.
"It's been going on nonstop," said Andreas Hoistad, an IT worker in Norway, who helped establish the Phuket Disaster Message Board a day after the tsunamis hit Asia on December 26. The independent Web site, built by a few computer specialists with donated time and hardware, offers more than 13,000 postings with lists of names, descriptions of the damage, pictures of relatives and links for those seeking to identify victims.
In the mean time, let's see what good we can do.