Virus Virals

I have spent the last two days here in Cairo helping the comms team of The World Health Organization get their heads around how social computing might help them both internally and externally. It is always interesting hearing the stories of different organisations and how they meet their various challenges.

One of the most interesting I have heard for a while is how the Egyptian team dealt with a scare about avian bird flu getting into the Nile. Rumours that the water had become polluted were spreading via SMS so that was the way, with the help of the local mobile carriers, that WHO started getting the counter messages out. Even though the use of the web isn't widespread in the country mobiles increasingly are and it is encouraging to see NGO's getting savvy about how to deal with smart mobs.