Sublitled: Wrap-up of California Wildfire Liveblogging
I am not sure if DKos's weeklong liveblog of the California wildfires is a record for non-stop coverage on the intertoobz. What is most important is that a significant number of people not only participated -- a vast number benefited from the collection of information and links from hundreds of sources.
Follow me over the jump for more intrepid Kossaks.
At 9:36:20 a.m. PDT on October 21, Barbara picked up the story and gave us heartbreaking real time posts of the plight of both citizens and animals. Many of us followed the terrifying drama of thousands of horses in Del Mar, a target of one of the more significant fires. Images of the threat kept us awake at night. I am happy to report, via Barbara that the horses, including hers, are fine.
Realizing that there was a vital need for a clearing house for communication and helpful information, Miss Blue initiated what I believe to be the longest non-stop liveblogging event on October 22 at 9:45:13 a.m. PDT with her first diary, Califronia Fires. This diary was the beginning of a week long marathon of liveblogging. Volunteers jumped in to pick up the thread. Information and links regarding fire maps, evacuations, escape routes, shelters, animal rescue, etc. were added to the Mothership until it was so loaded with code that we feared it would crash the system.
Word came in from all over the country, specifically from Southern California, telling us that the diaries were lifelines. Heartbreaking and heartwarming stories followed each other.
Maybe jotter, our resident impact genius can tell us what our overall volume of viewers was from this past week -- not really asking, jotter -- just a "hmmm, I wonder?" moment.
I know I can't thank everyone who made the liveblog into a powerful force, but I can recognize those who volunteered to post an ever cumbersome diary -- and those who tried valiently but were defeated by code errors. These are the volunteers:
Miss Blue - Liveblog 1 Monday 10/22 9:45 AM
gchaucer2 - Liveblog Part 2 Monday 10:57 AM
Steve Singiser - Liveblog Part 3 Monday 1:22 PM
Moody Loner - Liveblog Part 4 Monday 3:15 PM
condoleaser - Live Blog Part 5 Monday 4:52 PM
Remembering Jello - Live Blog Part 6 Monday 6:45 PM
va dare - Live Blog Part 7 Monday 7:59 PM
4Freedom - Live Blog Part 8 Monday 8:56 PM
Marcus Tullius - Live Blog Part 9 Tuesday 10/23 4:46 AM
joanneleon - Live Blog Part 10 Tuesday 7:13 AM
brklyngrl - Live Blog Part 11 Tuesday 9:34 AM
Sallycat - Live Blog Part 12 Tuesday 10:59 AM
Karen Wehrstein - Live Blog Part 13 Tuesday 12:19 PM
Lychee - Live Blog Part 14 Tuesday 1:39 PM
jancw - Live Blog Part 15 Tuesday 3:55 PM
gchaucer2 - Live Blog Part 16 Tuesday 5:14 PM
gizmo59 - Live Blog Part 17 - Tuesday 6:50 PM
TheMomCat - Live Blog Part 18 - Tuesday 8:32 PM
Pucklady - Live Blog Part 19 - Tuesday 9:52 PM
Remembering Jello - Live Blog Part 20 Wednesday 10/24 3:01 AM
Ninepatch - Live Blog Part 21 Wed 7:00 AM
condoleaser - Live Blog Part 22 Wed 9:11 AM
Karen Wehrstein - Live Blog Part 23 Wed 10:35 AM
Pluto - Live Blog Part 24 Wed 12:31 PM
Over the Edge - Live Blog Part 25 Wed 2:27 PM
creeper - Live Blog Part 26 Wed 5:21 PM
gchaucer - Live Blog Part 27 Wed 7:16 PM
Moody Loner - Live Blog Part 28 Wed 9:20 PM
Marcus Tullius - Live Blog Part 29 Thursday 10/25 5:40 AM
CatfishBlues - Live Blog Part 30 Thur 8:00 AM
gchaucer - Live Blog Part 31 Thurs 10:17 AM
creeper - Live Blog Part 32 Thurs 1:45 PM
kriser - Live Blog Part 33 Thurs 3:53 PM Note: written by asimbagirl
noweasels - Live Blog Part 34 Thurs 6:00 PM
madhaus - Live Blog Part 35 - Thurs 9:24 PM
Donnamarie - Live Blog Part 36
Remembering Jello - Live Blog Part 37
TheMomCat, Pluto, kimconnor, 4Freedom, blue jersey mom and asimbagirl prepared heavily linked diaries only to be defeated by eensy beensy code issues.
For those of you who may not know, Liveblog, the diarist, is actually a three person team of dedicated DKossers: Cedwyn, donnamarie and Marcus Tullius. These three realized that after the 2006 election there would actually be oversight hearings to cover. Clearly, there would be a need for organization of liveblogging hearings. This format allows for terrific coordination and cat-herding of volunteers. Creative use of liveblog allowed us to cover one of the most catastrophic natural and man-made (arson) disasters in the history of this country.
Tucked in the mind-numbing reports of increasing conflagration, die-hard commenters gave us a respite with humor or reflection. Here is a tiny sample of comments which relieved our tensions:
Regarding the Decider's ill advised visit on the first perfect day to get air support and allow evacuees home -- imagine the consequences. Negative comments started flying but the following observations brought us back to snarky normalcy (we can't remember the author of the first comment so claim credit below):
As to the Decider's photo-op (paraphrased) We should take the high road -- that way we can spit on his head when he passes by.
Where are all the Bush water-carriers when you need them? Groucho Marxist
Regarding alarming hospital admissions, johnsonwax informs us
Southern California hospitals have stopped admitting patients after 1.3M double half-caf mocha latte lite-frappacino addicts spontaneously slipped into chemical-deprivation comas.
Speaking on behalf of Southern California hospitals, Dr. P. Diuretic commented "We're simply overwhelmed right now. Every bed is full and ambulances keep coming in. We really need the public's help on this." Experts on the condition suggest that if you have loved ones walking about in a zombie-like state, muttering jibberish words like 'vento', that you should immediately take them to a walk in clinic where intravenous Red Bull can be administered. "If this trend continues," Dr. Diuretic warns, "it's quite possible that as much as 96% of Orange and San Diego County residents will succumb to coma." Gov. Schwarzenegger has applied to FEMA and Chock Full of Nuts for emergency federal assistance.
This comment was rewarded by making it to Top Comments
Regarding shamelessly pimping the diary everywhere
Sally Cat looked mighty fine in the bling, floppy hat, purple trench coatand foppish walking stick when she went out pimpin' the Mothership in any diary she could her hands on. Jotter, C & J, Open Thread, Mojo Friday...no one was safe. donnamarie
I ask any of you to add your own favorites below.
Regarding Liveblogging alone, from 9:35 a.m. PDT on October 22 when Miss Blue posted her diary until 1:38 p.m. PDT on October 26 when OrangeClouds115 posted the last substantive update, we logged in 110 hours and 3 minutes of non-stop liveblogging (give or take whatever for maintenance downtime). Major H/T to noweasels and asimbagirl for doing the math. Judging from the hundreds of grateful comments which thanked us for giving them the most comprehensive updates and help links, this was time well spent.
I couldn't sum up the experience better than Ninepatch
We had a lovely, soft rain all through the night here in NE Ohio, and when I finished my first cup of coffee this morning I just had to walk outside and get some of that cool, beautiful air into my lungs.
Never one to go anywhere without a camera, I found this beauty waiting for me, still fresh from the rain which had ended only minutes before. It seemed to me that Mother Earth was saying "We'll be OK."
So, this is my virtual hug, to each of you. What an amazing experience with amazing people in the face of amazing circumstances. "We the people" has been forever changed in my mind by this experience and I really can't put it into any words more clear than that.
Be well. Peace.
And in case you haven't read the FAQs lately
This is a Democratic blog, a partisan blog. One that recognizes that Democrats run from left to right on the ideological spectrum, and yet we're all still in this fight together. We happily embrace centrists . . . . Liberal? Yeah, we're around here and we're proud. But it's not a liberal blog. It's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory. And since we haven't gotten any of that from the current crew, we're one more thing: a reform blog. The battle for the party is not an ideological battle. It's one between establishment and anti-establishment factions. And as I've said a million times, the status quo is untenable
What is more Democratic than spontaneously responding to crisis, pulling together community members who may have just fought a bloody flame war in a candidate blog, and using our considerable talents. The TM and wingers can rant and rave against the Orange Satan. Today, I have never been prouder of this ragtag bunch of dirty f'ing hippies. Kudos my friends, and may we use the same energy for Peace.