How the hashtag #lift organized mercifulness in Holland
November 20th, 2010

On Friday evening chaos hit the Dutch railroads when a fire in the central control unit at the station of Utrecht Central prohibited all trains to reach or leave the City of Utrecht. Utrecht is the centre of the Dutch Railroad web. Thijs Kaasschieter (@thijssie) blogged how the use of Twitter was defined in Holland.

Imagine what would have happened if this had occurred a few years ago. To get home travellers would be dependent on the Teletext news to know what to do. Others would call a nearby relative or friend to come over and pick them up. Most people would just wait and follow the instructions of the officials. Red Cross was already preparing crisis solutions to spend the night.

Call it a social revolution what happened. Call it merci. Call it helping people out. Call it the proper thing to do. What occurred last night in the Netherlands was no less than a social revolution. Social media obtained a key role. Blogger entrepreneur @johantrip tweeted30 minutes from now I ride to Rotterdam. I offer 3 seats for struck railroad travellers who can use a ride home

Johan Trip created for his tweet the hashtag #lift

Shared misery is half the misery‘ is a saying that definitely works online. During a crisis Twitter turns into a platform for one big family. People who never met feel connected. The self organizing phenomenon was great to see arise.

The massiv connectedness that happened in Holland was caused by one individual who suggested the hashtag #lift as a channel to organize a substitute for failing public transportation.

Spontaneously a digital pickup place was created where stranded travelers and volunteer drivers could meet in the midst of a crisis. Still some sort of chaos remained to find the car that to goes to your place. But also this was solved online. Tweeps like @spems and @suzanneunck and also CWerkplaats played a crucial role in coordinating the process of connecting people to people. Very soon @femmetaken created the marketplace LiftDeck 0.3 was invented to bring people together. If this case cannot convince Twitter doubters about its practical use, nothing will.

Also today Femme Taken her LiftDeck 0.3 is likely to help many out !!!
Applied hashtags: #lift #NLspontaan #utrechtcs #NS #Prorail #LiftDeck

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