The Web reacts to Indonesian earthquakes

Today on the Net: The Web comments upon the violent earthquakes that have shaken Indonesia; the blogosphere prepares for Blog Action Day on October 15; and Sting campaigns online to save tropical forests.


Earthquake in Indonesia

The series of disasters continues. After Samoa on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, it was the Indonesian Island of Sumatra’s turn to suffer two terrible earthquakes, measuring 7.6 and 6.8 on the Richter scale. More than 1,000 people are thought to have died and thousands are still buried under rubble.

amateur videos quickly appeared on share sites. They are images filmed just a few hours after the earthquakes, on which we see many buildings either disembowelled or on fire.

Others posted online pictures taken after the quake, illustrating the violence of the tremors and the extent of damage caused by the earthquakes.

And on Twitter, Indonesians rallied and posted many messages of support to victims.

Rescue missions which are closely monitored on the site of the Reliefweb organisation, which posted earthquake maps. The rescue effort remains difficult, as the organisation emphasised. Several roads on the island are now impassable, and Padang airport is currently closed.

Blog Action Day

October 15 is Blog Action Day, an annual event during which Net users worldwide are asked to publish comments on the same theme and on the same day. The aim is to encourage global debate about the major challenges faced by the planet.

This year’s chosen theme is climate change, a subject which seems to interest Net users, as over 2,400 bloggers from 94 different countries have already registered to take part.

A video that presents the operation argues that although a blogger is probably not able to change the world alone, several thousands of them concerned by the same subject can make a difference.

Several NGOs have already got involved with the operation, such as OXFAM. Reports on the devastation associated with global warming and its victims are now available on the organisation’s site.

Finally, many bloggers are already on a war footing. An American man explains how to make your computer more eco-friendly and consume less energy. A Canadian woman asserts that everyone can contribute to protecting the planet and invites readers to drive less or to grow fruits and vegetables.

Kisses in Paris

To kiss 100 men in Paris is the challenge that Yang Ya-Ching, a 27-year-old Taiwanese woman, set for herself. The music student, living in Paris, displays her trophies on her Chinese-language website on a daily basis. Although she still has 46 kisses left to give, her wacky bet has already put a smile on the faces of more than 2.2 million visitors. Her success has encouraged the young woman to write a book.

Kiss Kiss Bank Bank

For the last two years and thanks to MyMajorCompany, Net users have been able to become music producers by financing unknown artists via the site. The new platform KissKissBankBank is riding on the wave of this successful model but offers to partly pay for an album already produced by a record company. In exchange for his/her participation, the coproducing Net user will receive earnings if the public buy the album, as well as other items such as albums, T-shirts, concert tickets and direct access to the artist at a private party.

Video of the day

A currently causing an online buzz available on alternativechannel.tv is a message addressed to the whole world by the former lead singer of Police, Sting. The aim is raise international awareness about the dangers of deforestation and the consequences for the planet if the Amazon rain forest were to disappear. The singer also asks Net users to sign an online petition letting world leaders know how important protecting the forests is to them. The initiative also supported by Prince Charles.

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