If the last seven days have been a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. Today was a day to remind me of the inherent goodness in humankind, and the value that the internet has in enabling that goodness to flourish.fbcall

IMG_20100911_123813 After the forced decision yesterday that Cactus Climbing would have to shift, the decision was made to acquire some shipping containers to load our factory into. Late yesterday, despite not actually having secured a new premises yet, the call was made to begin the long process of filling the containers in preparation for a shift. I sent a message out on Twitter and Facebook and the response was awesome.

Saturday morning dawned and a posse of helpers numbering 20 or so descended on the Cactus factory. The amazing thing is that I didn’t know many of these people, they’d simply heard of the call on the Internet and, wanting to do something solid to help, turned up of their own volition.

During a Coke and Sticky bun break, I was chatting to Kaila of MissingLink fame and expressed to her that here was living proof of the value of social networking tools in a real life situation. Twitter and Facebook were the conduits that galvanised a bunch of people into action, for no personal benefit other than the satisfaction of helping someone out in their hour of need – nice!

So things are looking more positive – we’ve still got a couple of containers of stuff to shift (any volunteers for Monday to come schlep boxes would be appreciated!) but all going well by early next week we will have secured  new premises and be returned to some degree of normality.

Of course there are countless battles ahead with regards to the building. Already there are significant rumblings in the media – there are a bunch of people in one camp who are demanding that almost every old building be saved, no matter the cost. There are people calling for a consistent approach to rebuilding that will see us avoid turning the CBD into an industrial wasteland, filled with ugly minimum-cost buildings, and then there are those who own properties who just want to get on with rebuilding – aware of just how perilous the financial situation is with no rent coming in…

The impacts of this shake will be felt for many years to come – we’re only just stating to realise how many businesses will be mortally wounded by this event. The best thing people can do (beyond volunteering to help out of course) is to continue supporting these local businesses in the weeks and months ahead – there’s no doubt they’ll need it!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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