The Wired blog has a great post on how social media is providing some of the best current coverage coming out of the Mumbai massacres.
I'm often asked even by technophiles what purpose Twitter serves. This is just one example if its use in crises. I recently read that the American Red Cross also uses Twitter to provide updates to its network of volunteers.
I'm reminded of how in 1991 when Gorbachev was deposed in a temporary coup d'état, Internet Relay Chat, aka "IRC", was used to relay information on the crisis since all television and radio in Russia had been shut down.