Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FEMA's new Blog - more social media thanks to Craig Fugate

As I posted previously, I think social media is hugely important for helping emergency management connect with the general public in more than a trivial way. With Craig Fugate at the helm, FEMA is starting to get serious about using social media both to keep people informed and also as a way for themselves to find out what is going on. The latest is FEMA's new blog at Now if most government entities created a blog, I'd just think they did it because it was the trendy thing to do, but I think this one will actually be quite interesting (and encouragingly there are there posts there already).

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Comcast internet outage: Twitter does it again

Another major Comcast outage tonight, this time in the midwest, with Comcast's DNS servers in Chicago apparently going down. After last week's east cost outage, this is most interesting and one might speculate as to what is going on behind the scenes. But the most interesting thing for me at the moment is that the reason I know this is happening is thanks to twitter: my internet goes down, I search Twitter for "Comcast" and not only find out it is more widespread than my home, but also how to fix it (switch your router DNS server address to Google's - see Google's DNS pages for more information on how to set it up).

Note that if you have a wireless router, it's very easy to set up - just log onto your router (usually by going to in your browser - if you don't know your password try admin for the username and password for the password), then go to the basic settings, and somewhere it will say something like "DNS Address: get dynamically from ISP". Unclick this and manually put in the address (Google's server). Restart your router and it should work

Even more interestingly, as of 9.25pm Eastern time, there appear to be no news outlets carrying the story - a search on Google News for "comcast" brings back nothing (although a "realtime" search pulls up the tweets and also shows the increase in traffic referring to Comcast). So Twitter wins again...