I live in New Zealand and last week our second largest city was devastated by an earthquake, in the hours that followed I watched facebook and twitter for updates from friends that they had survived and were ok, we also used texts/cellphones to find out how my husbands family were.
I was amazed at how twitter and facebook were used to spread such important information so quickly. It was then that the power of social networking started sinking in for me... it gave me the information I desired and allowed me to pass on information without clogging up a cellphone network that wasnt coping very well under the strain.
I belong to a small chat group on facebook, a small group of mainly Wahms, we just chat about sewing, projects etc and are a support network, one of our members was in Chch when the earthquake hit, she has lots her house... this made us all think about how we could help esp wehn $$ are rather limited and Handmade for Christchurch was born....
We thought that we might get a few donations and auction them through Trademe.... well our wee baby has grown through social networking and is now over 1400 people and over 250 donations, very humbling for a small group of Mums/wahms who wanted to make a small difference for those in need.
It makes me realise that for my wee business it is about making connections, maintaining them and using facebook and twitter to get word out about what I am doing.... Social media is a free and easy way of advertising and keeping people connected to your business, I for one am definitely going to keep using it.....
ps if you want to bid the page is http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=3720030 and our facebook group is www.facebook.com/handmadeforchristchurch you can also follow us on twitter, its handmade4chch