Live Feeds From New Orleans
The power and reach of the internet is absolutely incredible. I can not believe that right now I can read a blog and view live feeds out of New Orleans via the colocation and hosting company directNIC. While I'm sure the people staying there keeping the servers running and the information flowing out of New Orleans know how important what they are doing is, I hope everyone else realizes too. It is only during something like this that we can all realize how powerful new media is. Too frequently we only get news from one channel, only hearing from one opinion. But here we can hear from people actually there, watching the devastation wreaked not only by Katrina, but by some of the citizens themselves who out of fear, anger, or malice are destroying their own city even as others are trying to save it. Having the blogosphere respond directly to the livejournal and video feeds coming from New Orleans right now is vital, and historians and sociologists will be able to study what has happened from many different viewpoints.
The people staying on at directNIC keeping the generators and servers going are examples of some of the bravest and best that America has to offer. I hope they get some fuel soon so that they can keep their connection to the web. Hopefully the deep coverage of this disaster will shame the government into getting better weather information and planning accordingly in advance of disasters, not in hindsight.