Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Tsunami Disaster and The Blogosphere

I did say in my last posting a few days ago that I wanted to share some interesting things I found on the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in the Blogosphere. I’m sure that some of you “tech-savvy” readers have already read some of this info, but I thought that I should post it to the Jewels in the Jungle blog anyway for others who may have not seen it.

I should also mention that about an hour or so ago I sent off an email to Indonesia in search of a good friend of mine down there named Donald P. Donald is one of “My Boyz” that you hear me refer to in my postings and emails and the young man (the Kid) is really like a son to me in several ways. That is not to say that I don’t have bright young women who are very close and special to me as well, ‘cause I do. Anyway, I haven’t heard from Donald since this disaster struck in Indonesia and I’m startin’ to get a little worried. Hopefully he will answer my email as soon as he can. If he follows that last little bit of advice I gave him before he left Germany to find work in Asia with his newly polished MBA degree, then Donald is in the midst of the disaster relief efforts workin’ his ass off to help his people in any way that he can.

And if by some tragic series of events he found himself front-and-center at the beach with a cold beer in his hand on December 26th enjoying his Christmas Holidays in Indonesia at the time the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis hit (very possible even though I think he is a Bhuddist), well then Dear God please bless his soul along with the 100,000’s coming your way. Make sure you put him in the American Section with the “Brothers” ‘cause that’s what Donald P. thinks he is___ an Indonesian Black Guy. Amen.

So here are some of the interesting links to Tsunami Disaster News and Relief efforts and even some educational stuff on quakes and tsunamis I wanted to share with you:

1. Rebbeca MacKinnon (former CNN Bureau Chief for Beijing and Tokyo) has a real nice article on her great blog Rconversation titled Tsunami news: blogs and wikis. Pay particular attention to her links to the Southeast Asia Earthquake and Tsunami blog and to the Glenn Reynolds December 26th article at MSNBC news. As a matter of fact, try to read everything that Rebecca writes about blogging and media ‘cause it’s important what she has to say, being a professional journalist and a Fellow at Harvard Law's Berkman Center and all (I’m not kidding, here).

2. One of the web’s favorite wikis, Wikipedia, and its new little sister site Wikinews have some good encyclopedia resources on the scientific aspects of the quakes and tsunamis as well as news and disaster relief information. The Wikipedia is a very popular Open Information Project whereas the Wikinews site is rather new. Read the background history on these sites and try to use and follow them regularly if you can.

3. The BBC News of course has extensive coverage of the disaster and published an interesting artilce on the effects bloggers are having on information and relief efforts. Watchout for that Morquendi blog link though, for it looks a bit spooky. You may also notice those artilces under the Technology Section on blogs and bloggers, but we can get into that later for there is even better info available on “The Movement”. Here is a teaser for you though:

Technorati reports that 23,000 new blogs a day are being created; that is one new blog every 3 seconds! People got something to say in this world, I’m tellin ya.

4. If you haven’t been able to find those satellite images you’ve been seeing on television news programs, then go over to DigitalGlobe and check out their Quickbird image gallery on the tsunami disaster.

Well that’s enough for today. I’m hungry and I’m tired of looking into my PC monitor. Bye for now.


Ingrid said...

Hello Black River Eagle. Nice to meet you. Thank you for the link. It would be interesting to know how many individual bloggers are behind the 23,000 new blogs you mention in this post. I'm seeing quite a few instances of people starting up free BlogSpots at Blogger.com simply to register a blog name (i.e. see blogosphere.blogspot.com has no posts). And I've noticed many TypePad users starting up a free blog at Blogger.com just to be able to post comments at Blogger.com blogs.

Other BlogSpot users, like myself, start different blogs to use as categories within which to file specialist posts. My personal blog became too swamped with posts on the Sudan, and because BlogSpots have no category facility I started up Sudan Watch. Now I have a "Watch" blog for various issues that take my interest, ie Congo Watch, Tehran Watch - and so on: 12 "categories" in all - so far. If one million bloggers did the same, it would look like 12 million new bloggers were on the scene.

I have just posted a copy of a report in today's FT that says "The Pew Internet and American Life Project suggested this week that blogging is set to become the biggest pastime in the US this side of shopping. According to the study, 8m Americans say they have online diaries, and another 32m say they read blogs. For a long time, bloggers were typing into a void: now, the number of readers is rising faster than writers."

I'm wondering how any study could estimate the number of bloggers and blogs that are active/inactive within the blogosphere - including China. Many blogs become static for months/years at a time or are totally abandoned after a few posts/months. Maybe Google knows. Google knows everything, doesn't it? :)

Mshairi said...

Hey BRE, it is sad to read about your friend. I pray and hope he is fine and I will add him on to my prayers whatever the case maybe.

Black River Eagle said...

I am going to answer the previous two comments from Ingrid and Mshairi in reverse order if you don't mind.

Comment Nr. 2 (Mshairi):

Dear Mshairi,

Don't start prayin' for Donald P. just yet, he's just MIA at the moment that's all. He could be anywhere between Jakarta and Amsterdam for all I know. We'll find him soon don't worry. And if by some terrible stroke of bad luck he perished in that catastrophe, then that little prayer to God I made along with many others from his friends and loved ones oughta cover him up in Heaven or wherever Bhuddists aspire to go when they die.

Once he finds out that "The General" is looking for him, he will report 'cause he is a good boy. The young men under my wings sometimes call me "Pops" (only amongst themselves without saying that to me directly, mind you) and that is the kind of message I will be waiting on from Donald P. It should go something like this:

"Dear Bill (a.k.a.Pops),

Sir I'm O.K. down here in (Indonesia) and I thank you for caring so much about me and my people and..."

Donald P.

Black River Eagle said...

Comment Nr. 1 (Ingrid):

Dear Ingrid,

Welcome to Jewels in the Jungle and it is very nice to meet you as well (Oh my gosh! It's Ingrid Jones of Me and Ophelia and Sudan Watch and Passion of the Present and....How do I look? Do I look O.K.?...) Just havin' a little fun with you Ingrid. It's an honor to have you reading my posts and coming into our little circle of bloggers.

I noticed your work early back in the Spring-Summer of 2004 I believe via your main blog Me and Ophelia, and I picked up on Sudan Watch only recently but added it to my blogroll soon thereafter. I was also surprised to see that you are one of the co-authors of Passion of the Present...there's only 2 of you guys (laidies) authoring that beast of a blog? Man!

In regards to your question(s) and comments regarding bloggers and blog popularity and their impacts on societies around the world and how Technorati and the Pew Internet & American Life Project's research team can measure all of that stuff (whew!), I am going to attempt to address some of that in a later posting this month. I'm swamped with work and a tough blogging schedule at the moment and it is gonna take a couple of days to answer you.

However, you can trust what Pew Research says to the best of my knowledge 'cause they are very good at what they do and well respected. The folks over at the Harvard Law Berkman Center for Internet & Society ("whew!) should have lot's of info on it as well. And there is an excellent 5 webpage article on bloggers and their impact on the business community at Forbes online (see the Technology section) in the Jan 10th 2005 issue.

Where did you post the FT article you mentioned, on your main blog? I've got lot's of questions regarding your work but it would be better to communicate about that "off blog" per email or something. I actually have made a number of notes from recent postings you have made to Sudan Watch, and I am burning up to get back to the news and issues re: Sudan and Darfur on my own blog as well. I don't trust a damn thing the GoS in Khartoum does, peace treaties included.

Again, thanks for the visit(s) and I am sure that goes for some of my blogger buddies like Mshairi et. al. as well. See you soon out in the "ether of the Blogoshpere".

Black River Eagle said...

Update on Donald P. down in Indonesia. Date: January 07, 2005


Conversation today with TOMBO (one of my Boyz)___

BRE: "Yeah, that's cool. I'm glad you guys had a good time on New Year's Eve without any trouble and fights and goin' on. By the way, anybody heard from Donald?"

TOMBO: "Yeah, Donald is fine. He sent an SMS to let everybody know he is O.K. down there in Indonesia."

BRE: "He did?! Nobody said anything to me! I'm sitting up here worried to death about the boy. He didn't answer the email I sent to him a few days ago. I don't know if he dead or alive, things lookin' terrible down there. What did he say (in the SMS)?"

TOMBO: "Let me go get my handy (German slang for cell phone)." Click-click-click buzz whirr....(Tombo pushin all kinds of little buttons I can barely see). "Here is the message right here. It says..."

(Donald P.)" Hi everybody. I'm doing O.K. here, thanks. Tsunami didn't reach us, thank God."

BRE: "You got his phone number? Give me his phone number. I'm gonna call him up right now. Wait a minute, I can't call him now. It's in the middle of the night down there. Seven hour time difference to Indonesia, right? He'll be in bed right now."

"I'm gonna call him tomorrow and give him a good chewin' out, worryin' me like that. Darn Kids!"

Black River Eagle said...

Update January 18th:
This comment attempts to address a question posed by Ingrid Jones of Sudan Watch on January 5th to this blog posting:

I did (finally) find some info on how the Pew Internet Project research teams are able to determine (estimate) the numbers provided in their latest mini-report on bloggers released in January 2005 "The State of Blogging".

Go to the PIP (Pew Internet Project) website here:

Select the February 2004 report "Content Creation Online" and open with Adobe PDF file viewer. On page 12 of this report you will find a section titled Methodology and Questionnaire. This will give you an idea about how they are able to generate relatively accurate numbers for the "State of Blogging" report memo of January 2005.

Technorati and their claim of 23,000 new blogs per day being created is a whole 'nother matter, of course. Maybe one of my readers can clarify how those guys operate?