Sunday Tribune's Blogosphere
Keith Alexander RIP

Sunday Tribune and London Blogging

London CleanupTRIBUNE -- The Sunday Tribune's weekly column on blogging gives exclusive coverage to role played by blogs in the bombing of London last Thursday. Columnist Joe Bloggs cites Flickr, Peter Nolan, Confederacy of a Dunce, Slugger O'Toole and The Guardian. No mention is given to the BBC's outstanding television coverage, to Memorandum's superb amalgamated news stories or to the Wikipedia reference of the 7 July 2005 London bombings. All of those sources consistently served updates while other news points withered under the load of millions seeking information online.

Extracts follow from the Tribune today. Rescue photo by Kai Pffafenbach/Reuters.

Blogs Shine a Light. Blogging is the most efficient way yet invented to communicate to a global audience. The attacks in London last Thursday showed how blogging can affect real life. Pictures of pets were rapidly replaced with eyewitness images of survivors in smoke-filled tube trains. And with mobile networks overloaded, many bloggers were able to reassure family that they were okay, like this one.

Individual testimonies began pouring in almost immediately. Peter Nolan, posting to the Freedom Institute's blog wrote, "I was at Canary Wharf this morning when the trains stopped. Most people seemed resigned to walking to work. The mobile networks are too busy to use and the entire bus and rail system is down. Now, I'm back at home and there's an endless stream of sirens coming to the nearby Royal London Hospital."

Bloggers closer to the explosions used their blogs to give their testimonies and tell loved ones--with most phones down--that they were safe.

From Confederacy of a Dunce. "It's hard to know much about what's going on, I finally managed to get an online radio station but most of my time is assuring everyone I know that I'm ok....For now, we're just waiting around and gathering news (online), gearing up for a six-mile walk home when the time comes...PS I am not sure what is going on in the Big Brother house at the moment."

Pictures were even more potent. Images of walking wounded snapped from BBC or Sky News. Dramatic images from camera phones of trapped passengers. Images of the bus wreckage near Russell Square.

On site, on the ball. But while some bloggers posted, most were drawn, at first, to traditional media. Reuters' website was overloaded. Usually high-traffic blogs like Slugger O'Toole had only a few comments on the attacks until later in the day--with people focused on TV and radio.

The Guardian newsblog distinguished itself with excellent coverage advice for journalists.

In the aftermath, the blogosphere will be a key battleground where opinions are formed about who is responsible for the atrocities and what the proper response should be.

Joe Bloggs -- "Blogosphere" in the Sunday Tribune, July 10, 2005.
Dave Goodman -- "I'm okay" from the Flickr 7/7 Community Pool. WorldPictureNews trawled Flickr relentlessly in the aftermath of the explosions.
Freedom Institute -- "Guide to FI London Postings"
Peter Nolan -- "Not the enemy within"