The first edition of the BCIM Car Rally from Kolkata to Kunming in China, set up to establish peace in the Southeast Asian countries of Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar is being live updated through Twitter and Facebook. The rally – flagged off by West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata – will traverse 3028 km through mountainous terrains, dense jungles, vast fertile plains to deep valleys, wild streams and expansive rivers, all with 20 cars and 80 participants from the four nations through 22 February and 5 March 2013.
The rally is being live tweeted by the Twitter account of the Public Diplomacy Division of Ministry of External Affairs. One can follow the rally progress by following the hashtag #BCIM2013. Tweets are regular and what’s best – they share pictures too. At the moment the rally is being welcomed by the local residents, after having arrived at the Assam-Manipur border 2 hours ago.
Besides Twitter, the official Facebook page of the Public Diplomacy Division has also been updating about the rally. With a 102K strong community on Facebook, the updates sure help interested parties get information on the car rally. Apart from updates and an array of pictures accompanying the cross-country event, it is interesting to note the use of Facebook for live blogging. Facebook Notes have been used to blog about the car rally on a day to day basis.
Interestingly, the Facebook page had posted a photography contest ‘Spot and Click!’ for the Silchar residents when the rally was passing through it. One had to click a photo of the car rally and email it; the best photo would win BCIM car rally merchandise!
This is a good usage of social media to share live updates on a cross-country car rally that seeks to rejuvenate friendship amongst the four nations. Hopefully we should be seeing more of such instances by the government.