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Cooperative, distributed reporting

Tonight's bout of insomnia gave me the opportunity to participate in something very cool. People from SpyMac, MacRumors, MacNN, MacTeens, MacCentral, and Mac-TV came together on IRC in just a few minutes before the Apple Expo keynote, with the intent to share information with the entire community. As information came in from various sources, it was redistributed through four different IRC channels and three websites (four, if you count the KevTV hoax) to a waiting community of listeners.

The immediacy of the flow of information was eerie to watch, even as a blogger; something would be posted in one channel, a few seconds later it'd be in three, then both websites and all the channels would have it. In the span of sixty seconds every unique droplet of relevant information was spread to every listener by just a few speakers.

One of the major channels I was a part of was directed for the duration by someone not accustomed to using IRC, that had never done this before or seen it happen; two hours of unplanned effort behind me, I feel that I've made a valuable contribution to something unseen but valuable: community.

I counted over sixty people in the channel I moderated; apparently on IRC across the four channels I watched there were more than a thousand people, and I can't even begin to wonder how many people watched on the websites. I guess next time I'll have to plan to be here; I don't want to miss the opportunity.


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