Web experiment paid off during Ike
Web experiment Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc in Port Aransas, but as South Jetty videographer Leslie Willey Jr. pointed out in a video this week, there was a silver lining behind all those clouds - and it wasn't just the surf.
The hurricane also presented the opportunity for the South Jetty's Web site to make a real difference.
From the time Ike hit the eastern edge of Cuba early last week, the South Jetty Web site provided Port Aransas-specific information two and three times a day. Full access to the hurricane information (with photos and videos) does not require a subscription to our online edition.
A hurricane threat is an emergency situation, and in the interest of public safety, we open that information to all.
Going into the "hurricane mode," we didn't know how it would play out, or what our ability to keep up would be, so we didn't promote our site as a source for current information on the hurricane. We wanted to work out the kinks before we made any promises.
Without a doubt, we could have done a better job. Without a doubt, we did a good job and provided a valuable service not only to our residents (those who evacuated and those who stayed) as well as distant property owners and others with a vested interest in Port Aransas.
We invited viewers to e-mail us questions - and they did. We found answers and posted them.
We also posted a few photos (some submitted by viewers - thank you!) and three videos (two of them were not posted until Monday because of huge traffic on the Internet that made it impossibly slow to load).
We can certainly improve on what we did, and we welcome your input in that regard.
For now, we feel good that in some small way, we served our readers/viewers in an important way during a tense, worrisome time.
Next time - and there will be a next time - we'll do an even better job.
Check out what we did this time at www. portasouthjetty.com. Click on the Hurricane Info bar (in red letters) at the top of the menu on the left of your screen. Watch the videos and read the updates (first to last from the bottom up).
This time, we updated the Web site from Port Aransas. Next time, we may be doing it remotely from San Antonio, Austin, the Hill Country or the Rio Grande Valley. We'll be coordinating reporters, a videographer and photographers on the ground and in the air.
Count on this: The South Jetty will provide Port Aransas-specific information that is meaningful to you that you can't get anywhere else.
It's what we do.