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After a while it begins to resonate, things strike a chord, and comments start happening.
It's all just a reaction.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Word Gets Around

Here's an example of something that's getting around in cyberspace with a point of departure just down the street.

I routinely check in with several mapping blogs, including Google Maps Mania, where the story about adoption of mashups by news organisations makes reference to a Birmingham-based consulting firm at this journalism-focused website:
Developed by Birmingham-based technology firm Daden, NewsGlobe can combine Google's geographic search engine Google Earth with the user's favourite RSS news feeds to present stories on a local, regional or international map.

I duly (dutifully?) clicked through to the Daden website to see the scoop on NewsGlobe. I installed the NewsGlobe 'dynamic layer link' and watched it come up on Google Earth, then continued on with the search for info about the Birmingham connection. I went to Daden's About Us page, which begins:
DADENCONSULTING is a small, specialist consultancy based in Birmingham, UK.
and ends, a few paragraphs later, with
You can read David's personal blog - Converjed - to find out about David's day to day activities and interests.
I know of Converjed. It's one of the other local blogs that comes up on the Feedmap list; the blog with the stilt-voiced but mostly intelligble voxbot. It's also over there on the side, in my linkroll of local and not-so-local blogs.

On Feedmap, it's listed as being somewhere along Oxford Road. So I'm scanning the blog and I notice that there's something familiar about the photograph of the tornado aftermath. It's the mini-roundabout and fallen locust tree at Cotton Lane and Oxford Road, where so many people were gathering after the storm, in the vicinity of several formerly-large-but-now-wrecked trees.
Equally interesting is the map giving an impression of the tornado's path, from south to north, with red dots scattered about as if to mark sites of heavy damage. It's the first map I've seen of the ostensible route and damage. Hardly anyone has seen fit to geotag photos on flickr, so there's no photocomposite showing the trail of wreckage. Seems like it would be an interesting Google Earth layer, but I'm not going to hand-code those photos. Let the machines do that!

The story doesn't end yet. Remember, the point is that news in cyberspace doesn't often come from one's neighbourhood, and when it does, it feels a bit peculiar. So what made this coincidence more interesting was that when I went round to D'log to see what my some-time accomplice David H has been scoping, I was further surprised to see he'd covered the story about NewsGlobe a day earlier, albeit without the links, the graphics, the local twisters. I wonder where he gets his news.

So, in the end, the circle gets closed through two different loops, and reported here to show the point(s) of intersection.