Nothing's more lonely than a disaster, even when you're one among thousands. When Katrina struck, and all the traditional means of disseminating information washed away with the waters, social media took center stage in the battle for communication.
Now that oil from the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon is heading for landfall on the Gulf Shore, social media is out front again. A collaborative multimedia website, Gulf of Mexico - Deepwater Horizon Incident, rich in social media, has been launched information for those who are or might be hit.
The site is being maintained by British Petroleum, who own the oil; Transocean, who own the rig; the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
A Flickr slideshow, hosted by U.S. Coast Guard Eighth District External Affairs, plays at center, beside a clickable list of news items and documents, some in PDF format. Links are provided to the service's Twitter account, Oil_Spill_2010 and its Facebook page, Deepwater Horizon Response. The response team's YouTube page is at Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
The site allows you to register for updates. It also provides numbers to call for oiled wildlife, to report oil spill related damage, to report oiled shoreline, to request volunteer information or to submit alternative response technology, services or products.