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In Germany after the second world war many people had lost family members or friends. This was also the case for kids who had been sent out of the big cities for fear of bombing, and also for peolpe how were evacuating or just fleeing. The Red Cross (at least the german branch.
webiste in german : http://www.drk.de/suchdienst/index.html
website in engliish: http://www.drk-suchdienst.org/english/index.html)
has extensive knowledge of tracking down people. Maybe the american red cross can tab into that knowledge. I know that the people from the red cross germany used all kinds of links, even weak ties like the mentioning of a name in a letter. Maybe there are studies out there on this.
In times of the internet this should become easier, but this one is a 'time tested' method.
Maybe this helps. Good luck.
Dr. Bettina Hoser
Informationsdienste und elektronische Märkte
Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Universität Karlsruhe (TH)
Gebäude 20.20 RZ (Raum 164), Zirkel 2
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On Tue, Sep 20, 2005 at 03:12:25PM -0400, Edward Vielmetti wrote:
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> I'm looking for some useful principles and theory
> here, and any references anyone happens to
> have that would be good.
> There's a schoolteacher from New Orleans who
> has relocated to Ann Arbor who I met for coffee
> today. She'd like to get reunited with her students
> and fellow teachers, who have scattered to the four
> winds. At the moment she knows where about 40
> folks are out of a school of 1400.
> In the small world of Ann Arbor, Mark Newman
> happened to stop by as we were having this
> conversation, and he suggested that an approach
> focusing on the "strength of weak ties" would be
> the best way to approach this - if you work narrowly
> on connecting back up with all your close friends,
> you'll miss most people, because they won't have
> the diversity of contacts you'll need.
> We'll start with some obvious things, like clipping
> services to look for news articles and an easy to
> find web site with comments turned on. There
> will need to be a lot of phone calls and other
> legwork because it's by no means universal that
> the people who scattered have always-on network
> access, let alone laptops, let alone phones that
> reliably work.
> What other studies of network-connected diaspora
> would be useful to look at, or if this hasn't happened
> in the real world before, I'd even be content with
> getting some good fiction insights into what people
> would do.
> Edward Vielmetti in Ann Arbor, MI 48104
> +1 734 276 5910
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