Navigational systems and New Orleans are not compatible. Otherwise, Magellans are not good navigational systems and a Garmin would be a better choice for any of you considering buying one. After an hour-long ride to a restaurant 15 minutes away, we finally met up with Doug Daspit, a patient youth minister at a small bible church in Algiers, New Orleans. During lunch we heard the story of his small congregation and their attempts to arrange communication among their friends and church members not with broadcast radio, but with Internet blogging.
Doug has a very unique perspective on the opportunity that the internet possesses. Doug is in touch with the use of internet because both him and his wife use it for their personal blogging. Since Doug was able to use blogging to help get information out, it allowed for another backup in the system of communication. Since a lot of phone lines and cell phone towers were down, the internet proved essential in uniting people. Doug talks about how he was able to get information from everyone in the church, even if they had limited knowledge of how to use the internet. Doug was part of the masses that had limited information about what was happening in New Orleans. Since so much of the information was unconfirmed, it was hard to know exactly how he could help. One thing that the blog allowed was to make accommodation’s until they had more information.
Another aspect of the blog that proved to be useful was something that neither Doug nor anyone at his church expected. Since the internet is a public line, anyone can get access to the information Doug was posting. People around the country were coming across this blog and the church’s website and were looking for ways to help. Since there are very few churches that have this kind of technology, a lot of help was directed at Doug’s. Church’s all over the country were more than willing to lend a hand and still are.
The internet, as proven by this case, is another form of communication that can proved to be so vital in a situation like Hurricane Katrina. It is accessible form anywhere in the United States and should be used more effectively in disaster situations. Doug Daspit has proven that this form of communication was vital to his experience and it could be vital for others as well. Blogging is just the tip of the iceberg in this situation but for right now, it is the most visible and has proved to be an excellent provider or information in times of need.