Batten down the Internet: How to follow Hurricane Sandy online
The really annoying thing is that none of y'all can see this, but right now I'm blogging out in the high winds and rain while the waves from Baltimore's Inner Harbor splash over my shoulders. I'm wearing nothing but a branded Pando poncho and typing the shit out of this post while random debris flies around me. This, as I have come to understand, is how a newsman must report a hurricane.
Well, okay. I might have bent the truth slightly. I am actually sitting inside, the heaters are on too high (thanks, downstairs neighbors), and Hurricane Sandy has yet to fire her first big shots. But it is raining really, really lots outside.
Instead, like most others on the Internet – for as long as it holds out – I've been following all the new-media hurricane coverage that I can find. And what's been happening on Twitter, Instagram, and online news sites proves to me that the TV is becoming increasingly obsolete as a medium of shared panic. Flippancy aside, this hurricane is serious. It's been all jokes on Twitter so far, but that is likely to morph into panic and frustration as the hurricane cuts its course. In the meantime, here's a collection of what I've found most useful and fascinating from the new-media Sandy coverage so far.
- #instacane: The story of Hurricane Sandy told through Instagram, and then compiled on this beautiful site
- Google's got a crisis map
- Live webcam from the 51st floor of the New York Times building, watching the hurricane roll in in 30-second increments
- The New York Times, which, along with the Wall Street Journal and the Baltimore Sun, has dropped its paywalls for the duration of the storm, has a useful Live Updates blog for up-to-the-minute Sandy coverage
- Facebook has some Hurricane Sandy pages, and this one, with live photos rolling in, has almost 30,000 likes. Facebook is also providing updates on its Global Disaster Relief page
- Looks like Twitter is prioritizing hard-news results in its #sandy feed, which is something I haven't noticed before
- Shirtless jogger in horse-head running in the storm? Yep.
- Eerie photos of empty MTA stations in New York, from Flickr
- Union Square Ventures' Fred Wilson has embedded a YouTube video in Google Docs to show the Hudson River breaching its banks in New York's West Village. Why not just a direct link to YouTube? We don't know.
- Here's what Sandy looks like from space (via The Atlantic)
- Poynter notes five creative ways journalists are covering Sandy online
- The Washington Post explains how to use Twitter when the lights go out
- The Verge spotlights a NASA broadcast of the hurricane from the International Space Station
- A group called #HurricaneHackers has a Google Doc with real-time shared notes and tools related to Sandy
- Fliptu is tracking live Tweets and posts related to the storm
- This dynamic wind map is showing crazy activity on the East Coast