If you’re like me, right now you are sipping your coffee (or tea), reading your morning paper (or more likely, scanning your RSS reader), making a mental checklist of everything you must take care of today.

Just another day.

Image: Lance Johnson, Creative Commons

If you’re like me but on the other side of the world, you are winding down after a hard day’s work, figuring out what to cook for dinner (or what takeout you’ll order), stretching your bones that ache after a day of sitting in front of, and staring too hard, too frequently, too long without interruption, at a brightly lit screen.

Just another day.

Just another day can change in the blink of an eye.

A public relations professional

takes a wrong turn in unfamiliar terrain and a mini-triathlon turns into a narrow escape from a broken neck.

An aspiring singer

steps out of her car to escape the swelter of a malfunctioning air conditioner and is shot to death.

An account manager

traveling on a routine business trip dies in a terrorist attack, his last words memorialized.

As I head to the American Red Cross’ Emergency Social Data Summit this morning, I expect to hear many more stories like these, and how social media – the ephemeral thread that binds us all, whether we like it or not – adds a previously-unimagined dimension to crisis and disaster response.

It will not be just another day.

Even if you’re not there in person, you too can join by following #crisisdata on Twitter, keeping tabs on the Emergency Social Data blog, or watching the livestream on NextGenWeb.

It will not be just another day.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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