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A Hurricane of Visual Networking

This past weekend I was in Houston for a wedding. Unfortunately, Hurricane Gustav was threatening to make a guest appearance. When we first arrived in Houston, Gustav was but a distant CNN story. But as the weekend progressed, the wedding got closer and so did Gustav. The question wasn’t whether the nuptials would happend before Gustav landed (they did), but whether we would beat the weather out of George Bush Intercontinental airport. Visual networking over my cell phone provided a safe haven. Being able to track Gustav’s course and the National Weather Service’s projection of when strong winds would hit the Houston area made me almost more popular than the groom. Video loops of the storm’s movement, and access to CNN video gave out-of-towners comfort that they wouldn’t be stranded by Gustav. For on-the-ground info we could look at social networking web sites with first person reports. And when it was looking iffy, we all changed our reservations to the earlier flight, just to be safe.In a previous era we might have partied on in blissful ignorance (and been safe anyway), but I’ll take being better informed and in control of my storm tossed destiny through visual networking — safe, sound, and DRY!

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