Monday, September 01, 2008

Hurricane Gustav And Information

Hi everybody. With Hurricane Gustav set to make landfall in possibly just a few hours, I want to point you to a place where you can find a wealth of information and resources. During the run-up to Hurricane Katrina and the storm's bungled aftermath, the blog Daily Kos became a must read for me due to the massive amount of information they provided. This time they are even more organized, providing everything from links to webcams to a tutorial on how to sign up for Twitter so that evacuees can more easily keep in touch with their families.

For those not familiar with Daily Kos, it is a progressive blog founded by Markos Moulitsas. But what makes it unique is that it has grown beyond its founder into a people powered movement. I've heard from some people that the format can be confusing, so let me explain. Posts to the blog are called "diaries" and all of the diaries on the left (otherwise known as the front page) are posted by bloggers chosen by Markos. You will find some Hurricane Gustav diaries there, but what I specifically want to point you to is the recommended diaries on the right side of the page.

Once someone has signed up for Daily Kos they can begin commenting after 24 hours has passed. They are allowed to post diaries after a week. Members of the blog can recommend the diaries that they feel are worthy of a larger audience and if a diary gets recommended by enough people, it will get boosted up to one of eight top spots on the top right of your screen. Once the recommendations begin to stop, the diary will fall off of the screen. Due to the problem of too many diaries on Hurricane Gustav possibly clogging up these top spots and becoming confusing, one "mothership" diary is being kept at the top and in it you will find information, as well as links to other Hurricane Gustav related diaries.

Anyway, it is really an amazing resource and I hope you guys will use it to keep yourselves updated on all aspects of the storm. It's possible there's going to be an enormous amount of news happening in the next 24 hours or so and the TV networks are not going to be able to keep up with it all. I will be watching Hurricane Gustav make landfall. If we get lucky and this thing is not near as bad as expected, I will probably be bringing you some reporters-brave-the-hurricane related snark. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to be the case. If things go bad, I hope to bring you information on how to help, as well as stories that aren't making it into the mainstream news.

CNN, as usual, has the region well covered, with many correspondents in harm's way. I think Anderson Cooper said he was planning to be back on air at about 5:00 AM (EST) I hope everyone remains safe. I'll be watching through my fingers.


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