LAFD: FireBlogging for the 21st Century

I may be relatively new to Los Angeles, but I was knee deep in rss feeds upon arrival – and soon after getting in rhythm with the Metroblogging LA feed, I became aware that Brian Humphrey, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, actively publishes the LAFD News & Information Blog.

I’m not aware of other FD blogs, though there is a “firehouse forum“, but the LAFD Blog puts an end to the “do blogs really matter?” question. The LAFD blog is not only chock full of public service safety reminders and police-report rescue911 style recaps of deadly highway wrecks… it is one of the finest and purest examples of the PURPOSE weblogs serve.

Blogs tell it like it is, and no exception here, as Mack @ LA Voice pointed to this week. LAFD has posted a video (to Social Distortion’s cover of “Ring of Fire”) that will have you running to test your smoke alarms and buy backup 9-volt batteries

You may not hear it on the radio, and the paper won’t come until morning… but after being motionless in your ride on the 405 — moreso than usual — you can find out ASAP (via rss feed to mobile, blackberry/treo, pda or surfing at home) that the fire department was responding to a man who was killed when a construction rig flipped over at LAX. Or something.

Also: LAFD on Flickr.

Blogosphemers

I always think articles like the one in today’s Wall Street Journal are a kind of jinx. Can Bloggers Make Money?

The old guard says no way, new guard says why not. Some interesting opinions to peruse, but overall, isn’t it a jinx to go about your business thinking only of the green potential?

Of more interest, the ever-optimistic web innovator and Technorati founder David Sifry has released Part One of this month’s State of the Blogosphere report. “The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months,” is just one of the findings in his research.

Possibly the most useful item floating through the Blogosphere this week (aside from, on a local level, the 225 things to do in L.A. meme – in celebration of the city’s 225th anniversary) is Buzz Machine’s Jeff Jarvis publishing this questionniare, given to any freelancer who intends to write for the New York Times.

Jarvis “suggest[s] that bloggers should answer the questions as well and post them online to pressure mainstream journalists into such open disclosure.”

He answers the questions on his disclosures page, and Vaughn Ververs at Public Eye responds, as does Regret the Error.

Bloggers Campaign to Free Jill Carroll

Curt Hopkins, founding director of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, passed me a note as part of a call-to-blogs to help free Jill Carroll by disseminating a video PSA plea for her safe release.

The video is here (Arabic). Translation is here.

It shouldn’t be necessary to remind readers of this blog that 28-year-old Christian Science Monitor journalist Jill Carroll was kidnapped January 7.

A late February deadline set by her captors passed quietly and there has been no confirmation of her whereabouts or well-being, although optimism remains strong. The Christian Science Monitor announced last week that it has “reinvigorated its Iraqi media campaign” to free Carroll.

[technorati tag: blogjill]