Where to go for Gustav information

Hurricane tracking map widget
via Lockergnome.com’s
Inside WeatherBug Blog.

With natural disasters in the past, I have pointed to ways in which volunteers, individuals, aid organizations and the media have utilized the web to help communicate and coordinate their responses. As I’ve said before, my interest in this began with having family in costal regions in Florida and Alabama — along with my involvement with blogging and other collaborative “social” media. I’ve seen a lot of efforts in the past, but little pre-planning or coordination.

Already, groups are forming who are eager to utilize their past experience and the web-resources available. While I hope that competition will not lead to duplicative efforts, that’s one of the things that happens in these situations. Rather than worry about it, I recommend that everyone cooperate when they can — or do their own things when they can’t — just get over any urges that my crop up that your are competing and liberally link to each-other and mirror any information that is displayed anywhere. (Later: I’ve updated some information to correspond with name and link changes.)

In that vein, rather than collect any links here, I’m pointing elsewhere:

The Interdictr.com Wiki: (Needs a name change, quickly, however.)GustavWiki.com: From the community that sprung up around the Katrina weblog the intedictor (that at the time, I said changed my entire opinion of the Live Journal platform), a new website at the URL interdictr.com has evolved. The group has just set up a wiki (http://gustavwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page) to collect and share information about the storm. (The new wiki is based on the Katrina Help wiki.)

Wikipedia: As typical, Wikipedia’s best and worst is on display in a situation like this. If you click there, you’ll likely find a comprehensive collection of Gustav-related information. However, I just clicked there and for a few seconds, discovered some vandalism. As the day progresses, I predict some measures will be taken to raise the bar on who can make changes to the page.

The Gustav Information Center (Gustav08.ning.com): Springing up from some industrious volunteers is a site called the Gustav Informaion Center who are using the Ning platform. They, too, are pulling together content from most of the user-contributed corners of the Internet (Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc.).

I’ll add that two newspapers along the likely affected coastal area that have previously displayed savvy, even Pulitzer-prize-winning use of new media are the Mobile Press Register and, most notably, the New Orleans Times Picayune.

Already, the Times-Picauyune (NOLA.com) is the center of coverage for the New Orleans area. And in the Mobile area, AL.com/hurricane is tracking the news using approaches they’ve learned in previous hurricanes. (Sidenote: the Mobile and New Orleans papers are both owned by Advance Publications, the parent company of Conde Nast, et al)

For more links, check with any of the linked sites above.

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  • Here are a couple of more things.
    Frank at Left of the Dial has an extensive list of media from New Orleans: http://leftofdial.com/?p=552
    And on twitter there is gustavfeed which I’ve been following all morning as it is in real time.

  • @newscoma – I was going to list all the ways one can track the storm via social networks (i.e., Twitter), but it gets so confusing with all the different ways people — who are genuinely trying to be of help — are adding to the noise. I think pointing people to some collaborative lists maintained on a wiki is a good thing to encourage people to do. However, I’d like to say that anything, anyone is doing is greatly appreciated by me and others. I am in no way saying one group or individual shouldn’t be doing what they feel they need to do to respond to any disaster.

  • Oh, I was just participating in the conversation. It’s good. I’ve bookmarked you and Frank so I can follow along. You are right though, it does get confusing. During Katrina, it was, for me at least, hard to keep up. I think what you have listed is wonderful.
    Cheers.