Friday, July 4, 2008

New Site - Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster

Loki, of Humid City fame has been helping to develop this new site devoted to documenting the continuing saga of Katrina recovery. Remember Katrina? Maybe not.

I have read Humid City – and a number of other NOLA blogs – following the storm and in the almost THREE years since the storm have read some of the most painful, and frustrating personal stories (not to mention the most outrageous BushCo and FEMA tales of incompetency) over these 34 months and I am grateful to pass on this tidbit, “they ain’t down yet.” (h/t to Molly Brown.)

So, Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster was born to report to the rest of the world that all ain’t well in NOLA and the rest of the Gulf Coast.

Here’s part of Loki’s recent blog post at the KAUD blog:

One of the amazing things about the period after Katrina was the way that people used the Internet for mobilizing, coordinating, and especially watchdog efforts. In the first year after the storm, the blogging community in New Orleans began to organize on a level heretofore unknown.

At the time I was assisting with a series of Web Publishing workshops developed by Alan Guttierrez over at ThinkNOLA. (Disclosure: ThinkNOLA has provided hosting for my own group blog, HumidCity, ever since the first Jazz Fest after the storms.) It was through this work that I met two of our best local bloggers Editor B. and Maitri. It was also during these workshops that we helped to launch the inimitable Karen Gadbois onto the Internet.

A series of Geek Dinners followed, social events geared towards helping the local bloggers and tech people meet up and network. It was a fertile time for ideas and action, especially since the prevailing feeling was that it would be us or no one.

Now, almost three years after the waters receded, these ongoing efforts have indeed been noticed beyond the Gulf Coast. Not only that, but they have been effective. This week, John Fontana over at Network World published a three page article called How Social Networking Saved New Orleans. It examines the way that we, as a group and as individuals, leveraged the online tools available in the service of our community.

“All this allowed us to do something,” says [Alan] Gutierrez. “Like the notion of next action, for us it was the next question. Now that we had the questions, any one of us could go to the city meetings and ask about this.”

Of course, the answers weren’t always forthright, and that (spawned) even more social networking.

Read the whole post HERE.

I’m going to NOLA in a few weeks to celebrate a 50th reunion and hope to visit my sister’s land in Chalmette and my grandparent’s place in Little Woods. Does anyone remember that name? I’ll report back and if possible, post pictures of the aftermath.

So, go on over and get enlightened. Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster. I suggest you watch the video at the top of the main page before continuing.

Oh, and as you explore the site, think of those residents in the Midwest who have, of late, suffered the same kinds of levee breaches and will undoubtedly share a similar fate.

And so it goes.



  1. Hey Cajun,

    drop me an email when you come t town. Would love to meet for beer/coffee/conversation/whatever.

    Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad what I do is noticed every once in a while!

  2. Loki,
    Are you kidding? Thanks for dropping by.
    I have been tailing your site and a few others and have linked to many wonderful posts.

    Yes, I will email you - before I leave - since I won't have access while in Humid City.

    Thanks again for all you folks are doing.


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