It’s really hard for me to comprehend what happened in NYC last night.
Everyone I know is safe and sound, and the overall death toll is amazingly low given the severity of what happened. But man, what a hit the city took. The aftermath is going to be long and painful.
I was also blown away yesterday by the difference between the coverage of the hurricane on TV and the coverage on social media. I spent all day with family mostly watching local (in Boston) TV coverage — and then later in the evening I switched to following on twitter. It blew me away how much more real the stories coming from twitter felt. And it actually made me mad, somehow, at the TV networks. Maybe that’s now fair, but it’s how it made me feel last night.
On a positive note, I’m so proud to see a lot of activity around #hurricanehackers – an ad-hoc group of techies (led by Sascha Costanza-Chock from the MIT Center for Civic Media) that have been working nonstop all weekend to use tech & information to support the relief effort (including systematizing responses to help requests sent in to #sandyaid, and making a crowd-sourced timeline of events). If you’re technically minded and looking to help, checking in w/ hurricane hackers is a great way to do it.
As hard as it has been to watch something like this happen to my home city from a distance, it’s at least somewhat comforting knowing that the infrastructure we have in place is making helping out easier, from wherever we are.