I’ve been quite occupied these past two days with the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Alabama and Mississippi.
What’s struck me is how well the blogosphere has responded and the implications that has for businesses considering blogging.
A twenty three year old law student named Brendan Loy has the best Katrina blog with very frequent updates and a rich blogroll of resources and links.? Josh Britton is another tireless blogger at LSU who’s getting news out and calling for volunteers.? He may have them as the Times-Picayune has evacuated New Orleans and established itself at LSU for the foreseeable future.? Reporters at working hard and publishing online at NOLA because no papers can be printed.?
While the Katrina entry at Wikipedia is unsurpassed in the breadth of information about the storm, the effects on different parishes,? military and FEMA assistance efforts, a Katrina help? wiki has been set up to post help needed, help offered, and missing and found people.? Nowpublic has added a missing persons message board.
So has Craig’s List.
Tomorrow will be Hurricane Relief Blog Day with participating bloggers around the country blogging to raise money for relief efforts organized by Truth Laid Bair.? ? Already some 224 blogs from 5 countries have signed up.? Prominent bloggers from Instapundit to Michelle Malkin are doing yeoman’s work in posting updates and keeping
Tulane University no longer has a website, it’s a blog so it can be updated frequently to inform family and friends of students what is happening at their New Orleans campus.
So what lessons can businesses learn from Katrina?
1. In an emergency, the best and maybe the only way you can reach your customers, employees, vendors and partners is online.
2. The best, fastest, and easiest way to communicate online is through a blog where people can add their own comments.
3. Time now to set up a blog for crisis communications.? Do it while you can do it right with links to the resources and webpages you want.? ? Even if you don’t touch it again until a crisis happens, it’s ready to go in an instant.