Quickly Noted: American Red Cross Disaster Blog
First of all, I really do have to give kudos to the ARC for their whole-hearted push into online media. As we’ve noted before, with IM and Web 2.0 offerings already on the table, the establishment of a blog is the next obvious step. These are great offerings that show how cutting edge the ARC truly is, and is a testament to their longevity.
That said, I have to agree with Bob when he says:
What’s wrong with using their Web site for updates? Isn’t it going to dilute the brand of their Web site? Will it confuse the public?
Redcross.org is an amazingly memorable website address, and it’s chock full of good information. So why point someone away from that resource? Even the two other services mentioned, i’m Ready to Help and the Safe and Well List are located on Red Cross servers. So one has to worry about why the change in tactics, especially when the software that is hosting this ARC Disaster News blog is freely available for download and installation on one’s own server?
I can think of only three reasons, and I hope that some of my Red Cross readers might be able to sniff this one out. One, this isn’t an official Red Cross endeavor, in which case, for shame. Two, it is what it is; although I really do have to wonder about the decision-making there. Three, this is a test case and is easily jettisoned if it fails. If this final point is the case, I think that one only has to look at the tremendous reach of individual blogs to recognize the value that can be garnered from this. I mean, you’re reading a blog right now. As the old salesmen used to say, “Does advertising work? In fact, it’s working on you!” Furthermore, if this truly is the case, get a real blogger on staff, or at least update once in a while. I believe this could be a great tool, it just needs some work.
Photo credit: kaymoshusband