What's Hot in Blogging: March 2011

The first week of every month, contributor Amy Phillips will recap what made waves in blogging for the previous month.

March online was all about Libya and Japan. Disasters captured our attention and our blog posts. First, the disaster in Japan. On the morning of March 11 the earth shook for a terrifying two minutes, and an hour later came the tsunami. The amount of death and†destruction†is immense. The blogs there write in honest stark terms of the aftermath of the disaster. Google’s Japan blog has posted some pictures of how the the area looks after the crushing wave. However, as soon as the wave receded the next crisis started. At the Fukushima No. 1 plant, workers are trying to stave off a possible nuclear emergency. This excellent blog is posting daily updates on the blog, I couldn’t pick out just one post for this article; but if you are interested in smart reporting on the disaster by the experts, subscribe to that blog. The blog comic xkcd posted an excellent radiation chart. Despite claims to the†contrary, radiation is not good for you. The nuclear crisis in Japan has caused Europe questioning their nuclear programs. Many agree that the days may be numbered for nuclear as a power source. One of the most interesting thing to come out of the current emergencies is the concept of crisis mapping. Here is a great post explaining crisis mapping, how it has been used in the past and how it is being used in Libya and Japan.


The uprising in Libya continues. There are plenty of Libyan bloggers†chronicling†the turmoil. One of the most stark†scenes†is when a women barged into a hotel where reporters were staying, to tell her story of abduction and rape at the hands of Gaddafi supporters.

On YouTube, videos are being uploaded almost daily on Zintan2011’s channel showing scenes from Libya, they are worth a look. The twitter feed Feb17voices is providing great real time updates on the fighting within the country.

Libya, of course, is not the only Middle East country going through change. There is a nice feed set-up to aggregate Syrian bloggers posts on the site Syrian Planet. Tunisia’s revolt may be over, but the flood of refugees on the island Lampedusa is still ongoing. This is small island between the coast of Tunisia and Italy, an island of 5,000 that has now more than 20,000 refugees. This is a†humanitarian emergency that the Italian Prime Minister is trying to solve.

Information is power during†turbulent†times, and our thoughts and well wishes to all those bloggers who post content (sometimes at risk of arrest) so that the world can take a †glimpse into what is going on.

On the viral front, with all the talk in America about working class families, workers right, benefits, and pay – the Urban Ministries in Durham posted an interactive site that can put you in the shoes of someone who is unemployed. Can you make it to the end of the month on the money and challenges given to you? Try it and see.

How did you do? Now try it with economy of the whole country.

In Bronx New York, a cobra†disappeared†for 5 days prompting a great†satirical†twitter account.

Airlines safety videos are not the stuff of viral legend. Until now. I give you Richard Simmons and airline flight safety information.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iaTEgoezNQ&version=3]

And, sad as I am to mention it, what would a wrap-up post for March be without the Rebecca Black’s video? Mashable did a great article on how she became a YouTube sensation. Interested how the video garnered 70 million views? Mashable’s got us covered there too.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0&version=3]

But my favorite this month was Tom Hanks’ spoof of the (awful) American TV show Toddlers and Tiaras.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPLWKBWkn3s&version=3]

Have a great April!