NOTE: Rather than change the headline here and get complicated with updates I wrote a second Gustav entry here.
When Katrina struck three years ago, the means of conveyance of choice for digital information was blogging and we used tools like Technorati to search for relevant material. With Gustav's arrival at hand, a new tool, Twitter, is helping spread important information and put people in touch. It'd be wrong to say that Twitter has replaced blogging - in fact I'm finding it's helping find relevant blogs - but it has certainly changed the online information landscape.
What I clicked:
My first steps were to do some broad searches for Gustav Tweets, so I plugged "Gustav" into TweetScan. Here we see that the small pieces of information that might be lost in the blogosphere fit in well with the stream to tid-bits. We can see everything from traffic tips to animal charities.
It's worth noting that some of the more experienced Twitter users are tagging their posts with #gustav. In comparing a Twitter search of gustav versus one for #gustav it looks like the #gustav takes some of the noise out of the channel and gives more useful results (by which I mean, there's less slogging through posts like "I hope Gustav doesn't do too much damage" that show up in a simple search for the storm name.
Currently topping Twitturls, a site that lists the most popular links being sent on Twitter is Katrina vet Andy Carvin's Gustav Information Center. He's put together a feed of government alerts among other useful links.
Speaking of Katrina veterans, the name Brendan Loy should ring a bell if you spent a lot of time online through Katrina. He's weatherblogging Gustav as well. Don't miss that massive blogroll/linklist on the left.
As long as I'm wrangling with Twitter tools, when I saw the news that the RNC had put off Monday's events I took a quick look at how McCain's choice of VP drew discussion from Obama only to have Gustav take the discussion from McCain. Republican planners were probably right to think no one would be watching on Monday.
Poynter has set up a site that is aggregating Gustav reports from the mainstream media and a variety of citizen sources.
The GustavFeed is rounding up news coverage, citizen media (like YouTube clips and Flickr photos) and informational links. You could probably spend your whole time here and get all the coverage you need.
In a nice mix of how well Twitter mixes with blogging, Marcus is staying in New Orleans through the storm and is liveblogging his experience. Lesser reports may come through his Twitter feed, which you can also see in the right margin of his blog.
The NOLA.com staff is staying. Their Katrina efforts were widely celebrated. It's hard to imagine them fleeing from Gustav.
Between the likely power outages and the massive bandwidth demands I don't know how long this can stay up but right now it's hosting live video streams of five local TV stations in the New Orleans area. (I just saw one local weatherman point out the dangers of the post-hurricane tropical depression stalling slightly inland and dumping tons of rain, likely compounding any problems from the storm itself. See the 5-day track he's looking at on the National Hurricane Center site.)
As you can see, Twitter (or Technorati or blogrolls or round-ups like this or news aggregators) is only a starting point to guide your surfing. Now that I've started I've already got a browser full of waiting tabs so I'll update this entry as I sort through those. If you find anything worth sharing, add it to the comments and I'll be approving those every hour or so.