Great use of social media, the Memorial for Flight 93

The web site OhMyGov! ran a story called “12 Social Media for Government Stories To Remember 2009″ which listed the Flight 93 Memorial as one of the great stories of 2009. I was chatting with Kim Kobza, the CEO of Ingage Networks, formerly Neighborhood America, last week and I wanted to share with you some of what went into making this memorial a reality.

The tragedy of Flight 93, and the desire to construct and appropriate Memorial, required overcoming complex communication challenges and deep emotional scars. Here were some of the challenges that the ecosystem constructed by Neighborhood America had to overcome:

* Communication at the government level required tight communication from the local to the state to the federal levels. Each governmental level had a stake in this effort
* The families of the victims were involved, but, with such an emotionally charged issue, required more personal, more private, communication channels.
* Donations, funding, from the private and public sectors had to be managed.
* More than 200,000 individual data points were collected for this effort. Proposed designs came from thousands of people and included audio, video, narratives, PowerPoints, etc…
* Each design was reviewed by committee and then went through private reviews by the families of the victims. This required a fairly sophisticated solution that could handle group level public and semi-public conversations as well as more secure, private communications with the families.
* In the end, the designs were narrowed down to 5 finalists and the process was repeated until the final design was selected.

This was a great example of the power that a collaborative social solution can bring to the public, and the private sector. If a challenge like this could be overcome by the intelligent and methodical application of social collaborative solutions, can’t your business, your agency, do the same?

John (Social Anti-Guru)

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