Early Monday morning Toronto, April 16; very nice day, it's spring at last - you can feel it in the air - maybe the oxygen levels are up a little – there's a craziness in the air, a frenetic kind of feeling...
I punched the computer; threw on the radio; and began to create coffee.
I prime my story-writing brain with National Public Radio; but soon the voices will be in the back of my head, and I'll be blogging down a pathway in search of a twig.
The twig appeared on NPR, news at 10:00; a shooting at Virginia Tech, a lock-down, nothing more...
I have been interested in the phenomena of the serial and mass murderers since the 1970's - when a peer of mine took a hunting rifle to school in a nearby town.
In the early eighties Elliott Leytons excellent work, 'Hunting Humans' came out; and I gave it a read. I have followed the science of profiling with interest ever since. The most strange and distorted individuals, sometimes offer the most interesting reflections of a culture.
The X-files, the 1990's TV series, starred David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, FBI profiler. The shows writers used up-to-date theory and research to punch up the script. One of my favorites.
I knew right away this was my twig - I also knew this was going to be a lousy day. As a writer though, it would be a rewarding one.
I knew a fast breaking story like this one could change the way news is consumed. In the San Francisco earthquake of 1989, CNN went live for at least 12 hours (I feel asleep), until the next morning. It was the first time a network had done this kind of news coverage. CNN's next big gig was the 1991 war with Iraq. Brought to you live; with the CNN correspondent sending video as American Bombs rained down around him; and anti-aircraft tracer fire lit the sky at mid-night.These two events took CNN from small player to a major in the news business.
Now perhaps the Internet was about to experience a similar metamorphosis.
My plan was to watch a national story unfold in real time on the Internet, and write about the experience.
So I click on my FireFox icon, and Boolean search: Virginia + Tech + Blogs.
I've found the ‘Blog 'O' Sphere’ is a good place to find citizen journalists close to the scene as a story is breaking - like Baghdad Blogger in 2003 and the Blogs out of Beirut, under Israeli siege in the summer of 2006.
Interesting, No Bloggers, No MySpace...
List, List, List. Common thread, come on. What's common other than VTech?
Facebook! Everyone at Virginia Tech is on Facebook!
So I joined.
Apparently, so did a 'million' other people.
I'm exploring its Web 2.0 possibilities now.
Yin & Yang, Dam Yin & Yang.