Brian Oberkirch, author of Slidell Hurricane Blog and Principal, Weblogs Work, Inc. helped his community directly accross the Mississippi from New Orleans. He wrote dramatic first-person present. He was in Dallas when Katrina hit, and he was desperate to find out what was really happening. After he put the word out people started to contact him. CNN called him and asked him where they were getting the information. Then they both collaborated. It turned out that Lake Ponchetrain overflowing put his hometown under eight feet of water, destroying 80 percent of the structures. He struggled to sort out rumor from fact. If he heard it from three independent sources, he assumed it was true. It wasn't always right. He started posting videos and people started seeing loved ones were alive because they were on the video.
It has increasingly occurred to me that blogs have their greatest impact and value, during times of dramatic human crisis. It has significant value as well for business crisis. But when I think of what blogging did to tell the stories of the tsunami, Phuket, Katrina and the London tube bombings that quicken my heart.