|From the Flickr group Lost Photos of Joplin|
|Lost Photos of Joplin|
Now an interesting virtual effort to reunite tornado survivors to their lost photographs has been launched a Facebook named Lost Photos of Joplin, MO Tornado. The idea is to use the social networking power of Facebook to allow volunteers to post photographs they found after the storm with the owners. There is also a website, Joplin Rescued Photos, and a Flickr group. Here is a Joplin newspaper story and an American Public Media radio piece about the effort. Photographs that were damaged in the storm can even be restored by the volunteers at Operation Photo Rescue.
What is most interesting to me is the decentralized but highly effective nature of the effort, made possible by social networking tools, the proliferation of scanners, and existing networks such as area churches and genealogical societies. The process will probably play out over years, and many of the photographs will never find their owners, but it is hard to imagine such an effort even taking place just a few years ago.