Piping / drumming community harnesses power of social networking
The collective power of online social networking properties like Facebook has been realized like never before in the wake of two contentious news stories concerning the pipe band world.
To date, nearly 2,000 people have joined Facebook groups in support of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band. “Save the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band!” has gained more than 1,300 members since pipes|drums was [the first publication] to break the story of the potential demise of the competition-focused band. Another Facebook group called “Don’t Let the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band Be Disbanded!!!!” has attracted nearly 450 members.
Although it has not said so outright, the storm of online protest may have been considered by the Strathclyde Police force, which confirmed within 24 hours that its band would be permitted to compete at all five RSPBA major championships.
Since its launch in 2005, Facebook has served as a virtual petition system for those wishing to join heartfelt causes, often in reaction to breaking news developments.
Shortly after pipes|drums was first [publication] to reveal the news that the RSPBA had not assigned any of its “international” judges to major championships in 2009 due to a perceived discrepancy in providing sample score sheets, the Facebook group “We’re sorry the RSPBA discriminates against judges that are not Scottish” emerged, and has so far gained almost 450 participants.
Unlike the Strathclyde Police force, the RSPBA has not yet responded to widespread condemnation of their decision by the world’s piping and drumming community.
Sean McCartney, a soldier with the United States Army currently stationed in Germany, organized the Save the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band Facebook group. He said, “All I know about the Facebook thing is that Tuesday night I started the Save the Strathclyde page around 12:30 AM CET. The next evening it was close to 1,000. A few minutes ago, it was over 1,330 people worldwide who are very pissed off about this whole thing. There is something there. I’m sending the link to SP HQ and a few others in the UK. I figure it can’t hurt.”
The SundayTimes newspaper reported on the RSPBA matter concerning international judges after reading the news on pipes|drums.