I’ve been looking for news about the Malibu Fire. Inciweb has nothing (though it does cover the Ranch Fire in the Ventura County back country, which has grown past 29,000 acres and looks kind of ominous, though hardly as sexy as one that drives celebrities into the sea). Technorati has 408 results as of this morning (6:18am, Pacific, 9:18am Eastern), including a pretty big pile of videos. About half are more than a hundred days (or hundreds of days) old. Some of the personal videos are hysterical and/or lame beyond endurance. Why post them at all?
What I want to know right now, for example, is whether the “Malibu castle” that we heard burned down (over the radio last night) is the landmark that overlooks the Malibu town center. I see here, on a YouTube’d Fox News report, that indeed it is. Or was. This video report is helpful too, from KCBS/2. S
With its ability to toggle between date and relevance searches, Google Blogsearch gets us to this post about this post from 1pm yesterday, of a Channel 2 TV report. More recent is a Google Earth blog post that points to a CNN report from 1:45am Eastern, this morning. Most of the blog reports go to TV reports, such as this one from KNBC/4. Or this one from KCBS/2.
Technorati defaults to date search, and also lets you filter by “authority”, and that helps some, but probably filters out some good stuff too. (My old blog had high authority. This new one had none at first, but is doing a little better now. Not sure it would make the cut for that last search. We’ll see, I guess.)
If there’s any solid citizen journalism on this fire, I haven’t been able to find much of it — beyond the latest on blogging.la and in LA Observed. From what I can tell right now, your best first source is a Google News search. But I’m just one guy. Maybe one or more of the rest of ya’ll can show otherwise. Hope so.
Meanwhile, the fires will keep coming. They always do. So will the earthquakes and other disasters of our own and nature’s making. The Better Ways of gathering news, getting it out, and finding it in a hurry — you know, fast enough to save lives — have not yet been invented. The parts may be here, but the wholes are not. In fact, the holes are a helluva lot bigger.
Prediction: when the hole gets filled, a river will run through it. Many, in fact.