Floods and Facebook

In the wake of topical storm Lee, there were flash floods throughout Maryland on Wednesday, September 7, 2011. Ellicott City ‘s Main Street became a river. After evacuating our office, we posted some footage of the action happening right outside our office. (In this video, you can actually see the entrance to our office with near foot-high water when the camera pans to the left of the big black truck.) The footage was taken from a bystander’s phone and then posted to You Tube.

So here is what happened. Insight180 lives at a low point near the Tiber River, the little river that flows aside historic Main Street, under footbridges in the large Hamilton Street parking lot behind the old post office and La Palapa. At about 11:45am we looked outside and realized that the river was going to overflow. At about 11:55, it did. With only a few hundred feet between the entrance of our office and the river, water started seeping into the office by 11:57. (In those few minutes, we picked up couches, unplugged our computers, and got all the wires off the floor.) Then we left the office as quickly as possible as the water continued to come through the door. We dashed through near knee-deep water to get to our cars. Thankfully we all got out and home safely.

So aside from just telling you our saga, there are some interesting things to note. Before the work day was over (probably before we even arrived home), several pictures and video accounts were posted all over Facebook and YouTube and tweeted via Twitter.

As we continued to find clips related to “Ellicott City flood,” we were mesmerized and astounded watching the various clips of rushing water and cars driving through it. One of the people narrating as they taped the goings-on said, “Yeah, this is definitely Facebook material.” Interesting. Is this the way we have trained out minds to work? If we see something of this magnitude, all we can think is – Facebook?

Well, the truth is, we have always thought this way. When something big happens, good news or bad news, it is human nature to want to share it with others. In the past we called people to tell them the news. Now we just post it on the Internet and share it with an entire network of people at once.

As marketers, we share content that we think will be useful to others. And in this web-based world where social media is providing more opportunities for communication and transparency, businesses are also sharing things that happen to them (as are their customers) — the good, the bad and the ugly. What insight180 found as news spread, was not only people wanting to know what happened, but offers of assistance, people just showing up to help in clean-up, calls from clients, shared stories of similar circumstances, and reconnecting with some folks we hadn’t heard from in a while.

Share the story, because chances are it will interest others too, and it may be a point that allows clients or potential clients to relate to you on a more personal level.

–Wendy and Michelle

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1 Response to “Floods and Facebook”


  1. 1 chrisco1 September 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    wow- wendy…that was crazy footage. Glad all is well for you and your office mates! Hope things get back to normal soon.


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