G-no-mail: Webfoot 2.0

Nov 16, 2006 by

Gmail is down again. This time for the past two days. If it’s on their end they owe their users some form of update on what the situation is. (Don’t tell me its BETA, its been on the net since well before Katrina and its an ad driven service.) It could also be the side effect of some sort of selective port blocking by Cox, or basic incompetence, or the fragile and unstable infrastructure of the city. I bet its Cox, my lovely wife informs me that she had no trouble accessing it from Tulane’s connection.

Damn annoying though.

Since the Storm the internet is our main way of staying in touch with scattered friends and family. All the “social” applications have taken on a new dimension. Displaced friends in Cincinatti and I watch each other’s current reading and movie intake, trading notes and comments back and forth through LibraryThing and Netflix. We share pictures in the same way on Flickr, even sharing our bookmarks with del.icio.us. And that doesn’t even touch the subject of blogs, online journals and MySpace.

All of these applications add community to the services they offer. Each allows you to interact and communicate on a common platform. While fun, and no doubt, useful to most, these have become an important means of staying in touch with each other and home. I can see that my friend Rachel is about to rent a truly awful movie when  I’m in Netflix and leave her a note saying it’s not worth the effort.  We can also add reviews as we watch things which they will see when going to rent it. Little bits of day to day interaction that allow a sembalance of normalcy.

We are a people who crave the society of our fellow New Orleanians: loud, boisterous, eating questionable things of aquatic origin, and with drink in hand. The City of Cyber Orleans knows no geographic borders. It stretches as far as our furthest displaced has gone and is accessible from any internet connection.  For those away its not home, but it helps. For those of us here it is a link to all our misssing loved ones.

Kind of like a William Gibson novel reinterpreted by Morgus The Magnificent.

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