[Air-L] twittering while California burns

Ben Spigel spigel.1 at osu.edu
Tue Oct 23 19:45:20 PDT 2007

I think in the next few months, we're going to see a whole lot of
interesting research on the use of technology during the Great
Californian Fire of 07.

I've been seeing some very interesting ways of using the internet to
pass information between people who are there and people who want to
know what's going on. Fark.com has had a series of massive (1000+
posts) threads about the fire (example:
http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=3155801) where
people who are there pass on what ever info they have about
evacuations and other important details.

Slashdot has a very interesting article with comments on how the
evacuation shelters in San Diago are wifi enabled, allowing  evacuees
to set up blogs and use other internet tools to keep people appraised
of their situation.

Another interesting article on the subject can be found at

It's becoming apparent that these fires represent the largest civilian
movement since the Civil War. It's already outsized Katerina it terms
of people temporarily displaced from their houses. While the damage is
going to be much less, it is very interesting to see how people are
adapting technology very quickly for emergency use.

Ben Spigel
Department of Geography
The Ohio State University

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