Friday, September 17, 2004

Eye on Ivan

Showing how Web logs can be effectively used in emergencies like hurricane Ivan ... check out the Eye on Ivan blog kept by staff writer Don Hammack of South Mississippi's The Sun Herald (Biloxi). There are good bits of info, such as the opening for 10 minutes every hour of the Popps Ferry Bridge, and the more personal, such as one woman's question about the fate of the Friendship Oak at Gulf Park College (Hammack's answer: It's still standing. And this background: The tree gets its name because if you enter the shadow of the tree with someone, you will remain friends for life.)

There are a number of out-of-town questions and answers (and comments) -- which shows how important the reach of "local" media is these days through the Web.

This is a smart use of a low-cost service. It's a Knight Ridder paper, and The newspaper's Web folks set up the blog so that there are links to the chain's other papers and with messages on the left rail updating publishing plans. They even have a banner house ad across the top.

Two things to suggest: A Google search box so people can find posts on the site and a place for photos -- a mobile Web log would be even better to really show the scope of the hurricane's aftermath.


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