Amazing Australians Online: On the Victorian Bushfire Disaster and the Web

Death Toll Nears 200 As Bushfires Continue To Blaze Through Victoria

On this day of hearts, I'd like to dedicate this post to a different kind of love that people have an amazing ability to give during very difficult times.

As most of you would've heard by now, one of the worst disasters has struck Australia and its people last week - the terrible Victorian Bushfires. The effects of it are still felt until now. And most likely, for many months and years to come.

It's a heartbreaking situation to watch, even just on television, the web, and in the papers. I can never imagine what it must be like for those who lost lives, homes, properties, and loved ones.

Australia Unites - The Victorian Bushfire Appeal

However, one of the wonderful things that came out of this is the incredible amount of support that people have done to help those in need. At a time when it's easy to feel jaded and disillusioned by the terrible things that people do and say - it's incredible to witness the beauty of the human spirit.

I cannot put together a comprehensive enough list of every single person who did amazing things over the last week or so. I wish I'm able to. But, how can I? When I know that so many people have done so many things as best as they can to extend help --- from the young students who donated in schools' Bushfire Appeals to big corporations who held their own Bushfire Drives and Campaigns.

It's good to see people getting together for a common cause.

Some such people include the fantastic number of Australian bloggers, online entrepreneurs, and social media enthusiasts who did their best to use the web to offer help, resources, news, and other information. These are some of those that I have been made aware of:

GROUPS AND CAUSES

The Phoenix Appeal - A fundraising group organised by artists on the artist e-commerce site, RedBubble.

Samboy is Back: $10,000 for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal - A Facebook group that organised a fundraising effort.

Applaud the CFA Heroes and Empathise with the Bushfire 09 Victims - Another Facebook group that offers support.

SitePoint Sale - Web development company based in Australia put together a 5-for-1 special sale where 100% of sales from ebooks will be donated to the Bushfire victims. Darren Rowse of Problogger (who's based in Victoria) also helped to organise this initiative. (Also blogged at JMMO).

Flickr Group: Victorian Bushfires 2009 - A collection of photos on Flickr shared by various sources.

OzBushfireAppeal - A collective of artists and craftspeople on Etsy who pulled resources together to sell their goods to raise funds for the Victorian Bushfire victims.

INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF SOME AUSTRALIANS ONLINE

How to Help: Victorian Bushfires - Jasmin Tragas of Wonderwebby has put together a very useful blog post on the different ways to help those who are affected by the bushfires.

Fires in Victoria and Social Media in Australia - Fellow Adelaide-based blogger Lee Hopkins put together a very extensive commentary and resources on how social media played a part in this situation. Including videos and photos collected from Flickr and YouTube.

@Miscmum - Karen, a blogger/social media enthusiast based in Victoria, has also been Tweeting about the event.

@BeauGiles - An Australian Twitter user who put together @bushfires and @vicfires at Twitter to gather and share information.

@774melbourne - Twitter updates from the radio station.

Other Twitter users worth mentioning (as nominated by fellow Aussies): @alicam, @wolfcat, @coliwilso, and @jimboot.

Also see:

UPDATES:

If you know of anything or anyone else who should be included in this list, please feel free to let me know via comments and I'll do my best to update this accordingly.

In any case, I hope you will join me in applauding the many Australians who did all they can to help at a time like this. Thank you.

Image source: PicApp

Some info source: Shelley Heath, Maria Kleine, Alister Cameron, and Lee Hopkins.

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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