Swift online response to the Virginia massacre pt. 2

Two further, interesting pieces of online activity following the events in Virginia:

1. Slightly macabre subject matter I accept, but it’s surprising how quickly the Wikipedia entry on the Virginia shootings has been compiled.

I obviously can’t vouch for the accuracy of the information, but in a short space of time it’s become incredibly comprehensive and the tone emphasises fact over opinion, as you’d expect.

A good example of how quickly something can be created when people are given the tools to collaborate.

(from DERTyTim)

2. Virginia Tech Mourners Remember In Second Life


The school shooting at Virginia Tech has led to an outpouring of emotion, not just at the school or even the United States, but across the world. And, as is often the case when confronted by such circumstances, people have found different ways of coping with the tragedy. Some have chosen anger, some unfortunate outbursts. Others, however, have found more unique ways of dealing with the events.

Over at MTV, Stephen Totilo has a nice story up about a Virginia Tech teacher who, upon encountering a small tribute to the dead in Second Life, has built a memorial wall out of ‘Hokie Stone’, which is used in nearly all the buildings on the university’s campus. Added to this wall is a script that allows visitors to leave messages.

Say what you will about Second Life, but there’s something strangely touching about this. A lot of people that have been deeply affected by the tragedy live nowhere near Virginia Tech, yet something like this allows for a great sense of, as the wall’s builder puts it, “solidarity”, which is something I bet a lot of people could do with right now.



One Response to “Swift online response to the Virginia massacre pt. 2”

  1. Jonny Says:

    I take a more pragmatic view.

    I applaud technology being able to give people a voice to share their grief and worries where otherwise they might be left alone. Having a mrs that is a psychologist I hear too many anecdotal stories of people losing the plot because they do not have an easy forum to talk. If the flip side of this is macabre capitalism then so be it – personally I think it’s a worthwhile trade-off.

    However, the technology part of this does not purely lie in the aftermath of this tragic event. What about the email that told everyone (albeit too late) that a gun man was on the loose and that everyone should ‘stay put’. Or the student that was stuck in a class room on Instant Messenger finding out whether it was safe for her to leave (it wasn’t and thankfully her colleagues could tell her that). For me technology has helped keep people alive during the shootings and helped keep people sane after the it.

    A really good discussion here so have posted on my blog

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