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Keeping an Eye on Hurricane Idalia

Good morning, y’all. I hope everyone is safe and well and prepared for Hurricane Idalia if you need to be. I am interested in Hurricane Idalia both as a weather event (currently under a flood watch and expecting 2-5 inches of rain) and as a news event I want to monitor online even as Twitter gets worse and worse.

I’m finding myself using a lot of my own tools this morning as I set up my information traps.

1) Marion’s Monocle 2 finds FCC-licensed TV stations by state, allowing me to quickly identify TV stations in Tallahassee, Tampa, and Pensacola and integrate them into an RSS feed Google Alert. https://searchgizmos.com/mm2/

2) I used Non-Sketchy News Search 2 to keyword-search for news outlets mentioned in Wikipedia and build out the sources I’m monitoring. I was able to find some paper-based news sources this way: https://searchgizmos.com/nsns2/ .

3) I’m not even going to try to monitor Twitter for this event; I’m staying with Mastodon. I wasn’t sure what hashtags would be appropriate to monitor so I did some testing with Hashtag Harvest (looks like #HurricaneIdalia is the one to use): https://mastogizmos.com/hh.html .

4) My Mastodon instance is very small and because of that the flow of information when news breaks is pretty poor. To save myself having to find and follow tons of people every time something happens, I made Mastodon Stadium Seats. It searches for an array of hashtags across an array of Mastodon instances and displays the results on a plain screen which updates every 90 seconds. I put it up on GitHub: if you can edit an HTML page, you’ll be able to use it. https://github.com/ResearchBuzz/Mastodon-Stadium-Seats . It’s currently casting to my side monitor so I can keep one eye on the news as I work.

I hope everybody gets through this all right. Best wishes to you.

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