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TSUNAMI 2004 AND THE VIDEOBLOGGING REVOLUTION

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By thisistwitchy  •  December 30, 2004 05:11 AM

Just last week, James Lileks wrote:

In a sense, blogging is so 2004. The next big thing will be videoblogs. You can fit a rudimentary TV studio in a suitcase — a laptop, a camcorder, a few cables, and a nearby Starbucks with Wi-Fi you can leech onto to upload your reports…

He shoots, he scores. The next big thing is here. The blogosphere’s video coverage of the tsunami disaster has been stellar. Cheese and Crackers, run by college undergrad Jordan Golson (who has apparently been blogging for less than a month!), has become a clearinghouse for tsunami home videos.

FYI, look what a Drudge link to Jordan’s site did for his traffic: Wowee!
(Hat tip: Fat Kid via Ace, who has, as usual, a hilarious and insightful discussion with his readers about the phenomenon.)

Among others, Wizbang helped lead the way on posting videos and providing mirror sites. Austin’s Blog and Wes Roth have also been keeping tabs on new videos.

Some blog critics will no doubt see a Jennycam-type voyeurism fueling the intense interest in collecting and watching the tsunami videos. I’m sure that’s a factor. But I see at least two signifcant public service aspects to the work of the videobloggers documenting the disaster:

First, it brings the uncut and unedited horror home to people around the world who might otherwise shrug their shoulders. And unlike, say, network news viewers who catch a glimpse or two of the disaster before changing the channel, bloggers rope in a community of online doers. Jordan and Kevin Aylward at Wizbang are urging readers/viewers to donate to charities assisting tsunami/earthquake victims and providing links. (As a proxy, check out Amazon.com’s donation page: Internet contributors there have raised nearly $3.8 million so far! Stingy? Stingy?)

Second, these amateur video collections will no doubt be of interest and use to researchers, scientists, and disaster preparedness experts. It’s an amazing contribution.

All that said, I personally can’t watch another video. It hurts my heart too much.

On a somewhat related note, Joe Kelley (hat tip: Spoons) raises an excellent point about the difference between the MSM’s tsunami coverage and 9/11 coverage:

I’m having difficulty with the overwhelming number of mangled dead bodies being shown in the media when reporting on the victims of the Tsunami in SE Asia. While I don’t have a particular aversion to seeing dead bodies per se, I am troubled by the dual standard when it comes to showing dead bodies in general in the media. Specifically, why did TV stations and newspapers take such great strides to not show death while covering the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but are so quick to do so now?

Read the rest here.

Update: From Wizbang, we learn that an anonymous benefactor has stepped forward to donate all the necessary bandwidth needed to keep the tsunami videoblogging sites up and running. Stingy? Stingy?

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