But what of #civsocial ?

One of the more interesting things to watch in social media is how it gets used in guerrilla ways to fit a momentary need. Such was the case with the hashtag that came about of #civsocial for Ivory Coast. For quite awhile, the tag of #civ2010 had been used to spread news. Once things quite really bad in Abidjan (the de facto capital no matter what Yamoussoukro says) they switched over to this hashtag to address immediate needs. Now that things are slowly returning to normal, the need has definitely lessened and this tool will probably die out quite soon, only to be hit with the occasional spam tweet.

Naturally, this hasn’t stopped some people from trying to turn it in to a revenue generator. It’s natural for folks to think this will work and cash in on “scaling” the idea. That’s what happened with Ushahidi, but that field has already been dominated by them and there isn’t much room for others. So, I wish the Ivorian folks behind this attempt to monetize the best of luck, but really, these things should be taken for what they are: short term solutions to an immediate problem that, once that instance of the problem goes away, cease to have direct use.