Local online community reacts to robbery of videographer 

Twitter to the rescue

The Charleston online community is rallying to support local videographer/blogger Geoff Marshall of thedigitel.com, who was robbed on Sunday night in Greensboro, N.C. Local Twitterati have spearheaded an online fund-raising drive to help replace the $6,000 worth of video, computer, and camera equipment that was stolen from his vehicle.

Marshall had stopped in Greensboro during a cross-country video project called Underground USA, visiting 48 states with places that share the name of places on the London subway system. On his blog, geofftech.co.uk, he says that someone broke into his vehicle around 2 to 3 a.m., apparently trying to steal his Tom-Tom GPS unit. Once inside, they discovered the rest of his equipment and took all of it.

After posting the news the next day on his blog, the local Twittersphere erupted in an outpouring of support for his plight. The initial tweets were quickly re-tweeted, and Marshall’s ordeal has gotten national (and some international) response from the Twitter community. 

Within a few hours, a Twitter account and hashtag for the ordeal (@helpgeoff, #helpgeoff), a blog (helpgeoff.wordpress.com), and a donation page at thedigitel.com had been setup. According to Dan Conover at Xark!, the fund-raising effort has been largely decentralized and has garnered support from the North Carolina blogging/Twitter community in addition to widespread local response. Conover writes, “Online communities are communities nonetheless.”

As of this writing, Twitter account @helpgeoff reports that the effort has produced $3,000 in 24 hours, including a $1,000 donation from the Terrace Theatre. 

In an e-mail response, Mike Furlinger, owner of the Terrace Theater, writes, “Geoff is a great guy and has done so much for the Terrace. Always a supporter and has done two great video stories on us. How can you see his video and not want to help. There are so many great things for him to see on his trip around the USA. I would hate for it to end this way.”

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