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EXPLORING THE NEW MEDIA'S EVOLUTIONARY PATH-THE BIRTH OF THE FLU BLOG - (Free Republic history)
FluWiki ^ | 1-6-07 | James S

Posted on 02/21/2007 7:47:18 AM PST by James Oscar

EXPLORING THE NEW MEDIA'S EVOLUTIONARY PATH

-THE BIRTH OF THE FLU BLOG -

Every beginning is a consequence - every beginning ends some thing (Paul Valery)

In February of 2003 newspapers, cable news and radio were the interface between the American public and breaking news. It had long been such.

No one set out to destroy the relevancy of these institutions. Like so much change it just happened. Passion and thirst mixed with a witches' blend of electronic gadgetry created a new paradigm.

A paradigm where power was snatched from the media elite and taken by the citizenry - and no one has ever looked back.

Until now?.

MARCH 2003

The world was on the eve of war.

Not the televised war of the First Gulf War, but the first internet war.

Many homes and offices were now wired to the net and the Internet was to become the CB of the 21st century. Far across the immense spectrum of the Internet - discussion nodes filled with speculation and rumor.

A very strange vibe was brewing, a strange vibe indeed. This was March of 2003 - this was to be the time of change.

It began as little more than a few whispers among the cacophony of war talk. A post on the 13th here, a post on the 14th here.

The earliest and most followed post was placed here on the 13th. Within three days, this thread had received a couple of hundred comments, as the severity of the situation became apparent.

The original poster went on to obscurity but one of the responders would not. She would rise from this thread to be one of the guiding forces of the new media.

But her time was yet to come - a story to be told next - for it would be a different virus that propelled her to help shape and mold the world of "Flu Blogging".

It was now the Ides of March, and this story unfolds - for the transformation is about to begin.

In the strangest place.

THE OLD PARADIGM

As the concept of the "Discussion Forum" caught on across the growing Internet, a couple of standard formulas became the norm.

The first was a single poster copying and pasting a news article from the Main Stream Media and then adding comments. This early Blog form still exists today.

The second formula developed largely during the "Clinton Scandals". Liberals and conservatives separated and started their own discussion forums where they would post an article from the Drudge Report or the New York Times and then proceed to beat it to death with comments.

There were a few science centered Blogs, but they also followed these same two formats. And they were out in the periphery - with few members and very few visitors.

No it was the mega sites where the action was - a huge group of diverse members, lots of visitor traffic and a stable infrastructure.

The elements were now all in place for the perfect storm.

THE TRANSFORMATION

This is the way the world ends Not with a bang, but a whimper T. S. Eliot

It was the Ides of March, late in the night - on the hottest conservative forum on the Internet - that she appeared.

In an obscure section of that web site she posted a cryptically titled thread, made a comment about Ebola, a comment about God and then posted an advisory about a "worldwide health threat."

In a section that had seen only seven threads in the past seven days, she wove a strange, exotic and haunting thread for two days.

Then on the 17th of March she posted the first of 20 highly technical medical threads,

1. Precognition

2. Hong Kong Health Secretary calls for calm as SARS cases double, (83 up from 42 on Sunday)

3. LATEST SARS UPDATE - DETAILED MEDICAL INFORMATION

4. BREAKING BIG: POSSIBLE PATHOGEN DETECTED IN SARS CASE

5. Killer Virus (SARS) Identified

6. Seven victims of mystery pneumonia stayed on same floor of Hong Kong hotel

7. Guangdong doctor linked to SARS outbreak

8. President of the American Society of Microbiology on SARS - "Everything says it is airborne."

9. SARS REACHES HONG KONG SCHOOLS - 32 NEW CASES (IS THE BUG OUT OF THE BOX?)

10. CDC increases SARS cases to 22 in U.S.

11. CHINA CONFIRMS CASES AND DEATHS (SARS) - HONG KONG SITUATION DETERIORATING - 22 CASES IN US

12. Causative agent of SARS virus isolated from lung tissue - test is reliably identifying cases

13. SARS cases on the rise in Canada, may be spreading even further, 12 people showing symptoms

14. VIETNAM NEW SARS HOT ZONE, U.S. Warns Citizens in Vietnam To leave

15. SARS cases on the rise in Canada, may be spreading even further, 12 people showing symptoms

16. Singapore - 740 people quarantined, 14 new cases on Monday, Hospitals close, SARS spreads

17. 37 In United States May Have SARS

19. WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF SARS? ONE VIRUS, TWO VIRUSES WORKING IN CONCERT, OR A DETERMINANT UNKNOWN

20. Killer-flu a 'white terror': Expert, "It is the worst medical disaster I have ever seen.

21. Preliminary Clinical Description of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

- and over the next eleven days guided both lay and professionals, transformed the web site, crushed the paradigm and changed the way we interface with breaking news forever.

Oh, and there is that strange aspect of her name.

Every literate person on the Web new and understood, not only what it meant, but the endless nuances that lay associated with that name, in this context.

She signed on as Mother Abigail.

THE NEW PARADIGM

Among the hundreds of posters and thousands of viewers on the Mother Abigail threads were; Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses, Pharmacists, Veterinarians and Health Care workers of every stripe.

It became apparent quite early that this was not to be the normal flu talk. This is an early post:

"Doug had an interesting observation in picking a Morbillivirus as a likely agent.

Hendra and Nipah are both zoonotic and it might well be a mutant of the Paramyxoviridae family. Symptoms are right.

"Just because I have had tooooo much coffee, I will mention that both Hendra and Nipah have been given their own genus (Henipavirus).

Henipavirus becomes the fourth genus within the Paramyxovirinae subfamily of the Paramyxoviridae family. The other genera within the subfamily are Rubulavirus, Morbillivirus and Respirovirus."

52 posted on 03/17/2003 10:49:23 PM PST by Mother Abigail"

And so it began.

Why was this different? Because local MD's discovered ProMed, because an army of netizens began searching every corner of our world for information, because citizens of other countries began translating information that would normally be missed - because the whole was larger than the sum of the parts.

One poster who tried to write about Mother Abigail soon after the incident, and was quickly banned, called it SARS Central.

Sounds right to me.

She hijacked a web site, created a forum for the "in depth" discussion of Virology, Taxonomy and Microbiology. But interactive.

And it is that interactivity that opened the flood gates. Now it was possible to monitor breaking news in a far off land, have experts opine on that news, react to their opinions and post information of your own.

NBC Nightly News was never going to be the same.

The "Flu Blog" was born.

DENOUEMENT

Eleven days. From March the 15th to March the 26 she posted, wrote and guided. Then with the same grace and dignity that marked every word she ever wrote - she said goodby.

"It appears I have worked myself out of a job.

Many of you are now posting threads on SARS, and the information seems to be flowing in an accurate and timely manner.

So I will take this opportunity to thank all the posters for their hard work and diligence.

NOTE: I have tried to answer all the e-mails, except of course, the many that asked for personal information. Hope I was of some help

Stay Strong, Come and see me and - bring all your nice friends.......

20 posted on 03/26/2003 8:12:57 PM PST by Mother Abigail"

Some help indeed....

Mother Abigail had become, in the wink of an eye, the focal point for much praise and some derision. Then she was gone.

A year or so later she began posting, from time to time, on various web sites - always modest - never speaking of those days again.

She continues to this day.

The story of the birth and development of the "Flu Blog" as an Internet phenomena is really the story of two remarkably similar women. You have met one.

The other, that I alluded to earlier, is a poster named Canada Sue. Where Mother Abigail left off - she began. Her story is a fascinating one that is worth the telling.

And I shall tell it next.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: blog; freerepublic; motherabigail; newmedia

1 posted on 02/21/2007 7:47:20 AM PST by James Oscar
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To: James Oscar

Looking forward to the next installment.

Please ping me to the thread when you post it.

Thanks!


2 posted on 02/21/2007 7:54:30 AM PST by EternalHope (Boycott everything French forever. Including their vassal nations.)
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To: James Oscar
Active links would definitely be helpful for such an obtuse article.

1. Precognition

2. Hong Kong Health Secretary calls for calm as SARS cases double, (83 up from 42 on Sunday)

3. LATEST SARS UPDATE - DETAILED MEDICAL INFORMATION

4. BREAKING BIG: POSSIBLE PATHOGEN DETECTED IN SARS CASE

5. Killer Virus (SARS) Identified

6. Seven victims of mystery pneumonia stayed on same floor of Hong Kong hotel

7. Guangdong doctor linked to SARS outbreak

8. President of the American Society of Microbiology on SARS - "Everything says it is airborne."

9. SARS REACHES HONG KONG SCHOOLS - 32 NEW CASES (IS THE BUG OUT OF THE BOX?)

10. CDC increases SARS cases to 22 in U.S.

11. CHINA CONFIRMS CASES AND DEATHS (SARS) - HONG KONG SITUATION DETERIORATING - 22 CASES IN US

12. Causative agent of SARS virus isolated from lung tissue - test is reliably identifying cases

13. SARS cases on the rise in Canada, may be spreading even further, 12 people showing symptoms

14. VIETNAM NEW SARS HOT ZONE, U.S. Warns Citizens in Vietnam To leave

15. SARS cases on the rise in Canada, may be spreading even further, 12 people showing symptoms

16. Singapore - 740 people quarantined, 14 new cases on Monday, Hospitals close, SARS spreads

17. 37 In United States May Have SARS

19. WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF SARS? ONE VIRUS, TWO VIRUSES WORKING IN CONCERT, OR A DETERMINANT UNKNOWN

20. Killer-flu a 'white terror': Expert, "It is the worst medical disaster I have ever seen.

21. Preliminary Clinical Description of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

 

There is no #18.

 

3 posted on 02/21/2007 7:58:59 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: James Oscar; Mother Abigail

Mother Abigail. Yes. A remarkable figure in the forum. I remember those posts well.

Here's the list of recent posts:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/user-posts?name=Mother+Abigail


4 posted on 02/21/2007 8:04:57 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Incorrigible

1. Precognition

2. Hong Kong Health Secretary calls for calm as SARS cases double, (83 up from 42 on Sunday)

3. LATEST SARS UPDATE - DETAILED MEDICAL INFORMATION

4. BREAKING BIG: POSSIBLE PATHOGEN DETECTED IN SARS CASE

5. Killer Virus (SARS) Identified

6. Seven victims of mystery pneumonia stayed on same floor of Hong Kong hotel

7. Guangdong doctor linked to SARS outbreak

8. President of the American Society of Microbiology on SARS - "Everything says it is airborne."

9. SARS REACHES HONG KONG SCHOOLS - 32 NEW CASES (IS THE BUG OUT OF THE BOX?)

10. CDC increases SARS cases to 22 in U.S.

11. CHINA CONFIRMS CASES AND DEATHS (SARS) - HONG KONG SITUATION DETERIORATING - 22 CASES IN US

12. Causative agent of SARS virus isolated from lung tissue - test is reliably identifying cases

13. SARS cases on the rise in Canada, may be spreading even further, 12 people showing symptoms

14. VIETNAM NEW SARS HOT ZONE, U.S. Warns Citizens in Vietnam To leave

15. SARS cases on the rise in Canada, may be spreading even further, 12 people showing symptoms

16. Singapore - 740 people quarantined, 14 new cases on Monday, Hospitals close, SARS spreads

17. 37 In United States May Have SARS

18. SARS epidemic spreads in Taiwan, three other CDC officials have become ill.

19. WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF SARS? ONE VIRUS, TWO VIRUSES WORKING IN CONCERT, OR A DETERMINANT UNKNOWN

20. Killer-flu a 'white terror': Expert, "It is the worst medical disaster I have ever seen.

21. Preliminary Clinical Description of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome


5 posted on 02/21/2007 9:45:56 AM PST by James Oscar
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To: EternalHope

Will do


6 posted on 02/21/2007 9:46:03 AM PST by James Oscar
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To: Incorrigible

What!!!!

All the proofreading and time and there is no #18.

Let me go back to the original article and see if it got lost.

Thanks
James


7 posted on 02/21/2007 9:46:12 AM PST by James Oscar
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To: James Oscar
While this post is somewhat interesting it seems kind of overblown.

Why was this different? Because local MD's discovered ProMed, because an army of netizens began searching every corner of our world for information, because citizens of other countries began translating information that would normally be missed - because the whole was larger than the sum of the parts.

That is what the Internet was since the beginning! Forums like this are just an evolution of newsgroups. News groups about science topics have been around since the dawn of the Internet. Threads spawn and die all the time, and some keep going for ages, but that does not make it some new invention when one takes off.
8 posted on 02/21/2007 10:39:07 AM PST by TalonDJ
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To: TalonDJ
I would argue differently.

My research led me back to the old Bionet Virology, where there was a limited exchange between professionals, but the volumn was minimal and the interface with the public nonexistent.

If you can show me any forum (pre-precognition)that mixed lay and professionals in such a dynamic format, I will include it in my history.

You might want to view this site where the issue was put to a bit of peer-review (peer = netizens with a deep history of science posting on the internet).

http://www.curevents.com/vb/showthread.php?t=66595&highlight=blog

The Flu Blog is a new critter, and it began right here.

James
9 posted on 02/21/2007 12:27:22 PM PST by James Oscar
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To: Cicero; Judith Anne; vetvetdoug


Cicero, you are very kind.

Judith and Doug - it feels strange to look back. An eternity ago it seems - but it is my great honor to be associated with you and the other freepers who showed such remarkable ability.

Thank you

MA


10 posted on 02/21/2007 5:23:48 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Mother Abigail

The honor is all mine.


11 posted on 02/21/2007 5:38:52 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Mother Abigail

Haha! I just re-read my post, "The honor is all mine" and had to laugh. It sounds odd. I think I probably mean something else...

Because of the influenza death of a dear nephew of mine, I have (and will always have) a compelling interest in influenza. His death was a dreadful shock to our whole family, it was unforeseen, and miserable, full of suffering, indignities, and unbearable grief. The prospect of this on a worldwide scale is unimaginable and horrible, to me.

Ordinary influenza--a mild case, even. He had it, he got over it, missed a couple of days of school. A straight-A student athlete. Influenza, unknown to any of us, had infected his heart muscle and proceeded to destroy it. He died a year after his original illness, waiting for a heart transplant. He had no pre-existing illness or heart condition.

Influenza is a vicious, sneaking, deadly enemy of mankind. H5N1 has stayed mostly under the mass media radar, but it is still growing, expanding, changing; and we do not know what is just around the corner.


12 posted on 02/21/2007 5:47:00 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Marie; cherry; united1000; keri; maestro; riri; Black Agnes; vetvetdoug; CathyRyan; per loin; ...


It seems that you have become stars. It is well deserved.

If there are any of the old posters that I have missed please let them know.

You never know where God is working, and how the little things we do today reflect on tomorrow.

I am so proud of you all and may your work always be this fine.

MA


13 posted on 02/21/2007 6:27:03 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Judith Anne


Judith I am sorry for your loss. The death of the young is so troubling.

Because of my work I am often in Africa, and it would break your heart to see so much youth and life wasted.

AIDS, H5N1, Ebola - darkness seeks to have us all.

But I serve a risen savior, and death is not the victor.

Love transcends much, and our spirits are as the smile of a child - unfettered and filled with light.

MA


14 posted on 02/21/2007 6:45:23 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Purdue Pete

Ping


15 posted on 02/21/2007 6:56:53 PM PST by lucyblue
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To: Mother Abigail

You are a comfort, dear MA. God bless you and all those you love.


16 posted on 02/21/2007 7:00:53 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Smokin' Joe; LucyT; blam; Lurker; neverdem; Mother Abigail

To those who work to keep us all informed now, thank you.


17 posted on 02/21/2007 7:26:25 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Mother Abigail

With much love and respect for you and Judith Anne, thanks for the ping.


18 posted on 02/21/2007 7:42:35 PM PST by dc-zoo
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To: Mother Abigail
This has been real educational and informative to say the least. One of my classmates was the dog track veterinarian in Florida that chronicled the jump of an H3N1 Influenza from a horse to greyhounds and the virus is well established in the canine population currently. Jim Guy, a veterinarian that worked with me in a lab in Knoxville, has been quietly working in North Carolina on Avian Influenza for thirty years and has come forward as a noted expert on the H5N1...Dr. Bryan was one of our teachers and he's spent the past 30 years studying coronaviruses and now he's needed for SARS studies...and now I get excellent information up to date (like the very day) on the outbreaks and finds of infectious diseases in the world...thanks to Judith Anne, Mother Abigail, Cicero and the bunch of Freepers...and I am tucked away in remote NE Mississippi...
Ain't it great!!!!!
19 posted on 02/21/2007 7:48:29 PM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: Mother Abigail
It seems that you have become stars. It is well deserved.

YOU are the star.

Thanks again for all you have done. You have served our risen Savior well.

20 posted on 02/21/2007 8:05:24 PM PST by EternalHope (Boycott everything French forever. Including their vassal nations.)
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To: Judith Anne; Mother Abigail

Thanks to the numerous explanations to us dummies who post and generally wait for you all to show up, lol. I'm humbled by some of the things I've learned on these threads. I Thank You.


21 posted on 02/21/2007 8:48:29 PM PST by blam
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To: Mother Abigail; Judith Anne
"But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, love, patience, persecutions, afflictions, . . .." (II Timothy 3:10-11a)
Two words that are deadly to the Christian: "distractions" and "compromise"!

"Distractions" are deadly to the Christian because if the devil cannot get you from committing gross immorality, then he might switch tactics and distract you from God's will for your life. Satan and his demons will do everything they can to keep you from telling others about the Lord Jesus Christ. They will bring seemingly good things into your schedule, things that seem important, but truly are not, just to keep you from doing God's appointed tasks.

"Compromise" is also deadly to the Christian because it invests with it a semblance of rationality and tolerance. The line goes like this, "You don't want to be intolerant, do you? You don't want to be looked at as unloving and dogmatic! Just give in here on this little doctrine, or here at this viewpoint. Please don't be a Christian bigot!" Sound familiar? Yes it does! And many Christian leaders are doing it! The reason? Acceptance and tolerance! But at what cost? Souls!

Is Jesus the only way? Is Jesus truly God in the flesh? Did He die on that cruel cross and shed His blood to wash away our sins? Did He not rise from the dead physically? Is the Bible truly the inspired, inerrant (verbal and plenary inspiration) Word of God? Is it the final authority, not only in faith and practice, but also for all time? Is the Bible the "Supreme Court" from which there is no appeal? Is the Gospel the only good news for lost sinners? Is there a literal Heaven to gain? Is there a literal Hell to shun? Yes to all!

Being distracted from God's will and compromising His truths is deadly. Satan revels in this! We should be appalled! We must remain focused and true! As Paul states to the Corinthians, at the end of his treatise on the physical resurrection of the Savior, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

No distractions! No compromises! This is the hallmark of a Christian!

Have a grace-filled week!

22 posted on 02/21/2007 8:49:44 PM PST by raygun (Forget 'bout throwing nukes, rocks or scissors against the 2028 asteroid because paper beats rock.)
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To: vetvetdoug
"This has been real educational and informative to say the least. One of my classmates was the dog track veterinarian in Florida that chronicled the jump of an H3N1 Influenza from a horse to greyhounds and the virus is well established in the canine population currently."

Didn't they trace the 'jump' of this virus to the actual first horse where it occurred? Seem I remember reading that.

23 posted on 02/21/2007 8:51:13 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
I always look forward to your posts, blam. You tie reporting on breaking historical/archeological events together in a way that's VERY beneficial to those who are paying attention.

You're a very important part of the site yourself, IMHO. :-)

24 posted on 02/21/2007 9:57:10 PM PST by an amused spectator (The 1st Minnesota Regt died fighting a culture which embraced slavery. Think about it, Ellison.)
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To: blam
Good morning....yes they sure did.....A professor at Florida's veterinary college did the research and was able to epidemiologically characterize the progression of the disease...

My classmate was the veterinarian that took care of the dogs at that dog track near Ft. Myers...he called me and described to me what at first looked to be a really mean case of Bordetella... that was spreading thru the track dogs...but couldn't isolate the bacteria on dogs that had died...necropsy and virological studies recovered the virus and by the time it was realized the virus had spread....

I know of veterinary clinics that have had to shut down operations for about a week to allow the virus to run its course in those clinics....so hopefully the H5N1 won't get loose like this H3N1 did...

25 posted on 02/22/2007 5:22:11 AM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: an amused spectator
"I always look forward to your posts, blam."

Thanks. I enjoy doing it...Anthropology- archaeology are my hobby. I'm a retired chip-maker so, I'm learning as we go too.

26 posted on 02/22/2007 6:39:30 AM PST by blam
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To: Judith Anne; Smokin' Joe

Thank you Judith Anne.

Pinging Smokin'Joe.


27 posted on 02/22/2007 8:20:30 AM PST by LucyT
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To: 2ndreconmarine; Fitzcarraldo; Covenantor; Mother Abigail; EBH; Dog Gone; ...

ping... to how things get started...(Thanks, LucyT!)


28 posted on 02/22/2007 8:59:42 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Incorrigible
EXPLORING THE NEW MEDIA’S EVOLUTIONARY PATH
-THE BIRTH OF THE FLU BLOG -




Every beginning is a consequence - every beginning ends some thing


Paul Valery


In February of 2003 newspapers, cable news and radio were the interface between the American public and breaking news. It had long been such.

No one set out to destroy the relevancy of these institutions. Like so much change it just happened. Passion and thirst mixed with a witches’ blend of electronic gadgetry created a new paradigm.

A paradigm where power was snatched from the media elite and taken by the citizenry – and no one has ever looked back.

Until now….


MARCH 2003

The world was on the eve of war.

Not the televised war of the First Gulf War, but the first internet war.

Many homes and offices were now wired to the net and the Internet was to become the CB of the 21st century. Far across the immense spectrum of the Internet - discussion nodes filled with speculation and rumor.

A very strange vibe was brewing, a strange vibe indeed. This was March of 2003 - this was to be the time of change.

It began as little more than a few whispers among the cacophony of war talk. A post on the 13th here, a post on the 14th here.

The earliest and most followed post was placed here on the 13th. Within three days, this thread had received a couple of hundred comments, as the severity of the situation became apparent.

The original poster went on to obscurity but one of the responders would not. She would rise from this thread to be one of the guiding forces of the new media.

But her time was yet to come - a story to be told next - for it would be a different virus that propelled her to help shape and mold the world of "Flu Blogging".

It was now the Ides of March, and this story unfolds - for the transformation is about to begin.

In the strangest place.

THE OLD PARADIGM

As the concept of the "Discussion Forum" caught on across the growing Internet, a couple of standard formulas became the norm.

The first was a single poster copying and pasting a news article from the Main Stream Media and then adding comments. This early Blog form still exists today.

The second formula developed largely during the "Clinton Scandals". Liberals and conservatives separated and started their own discussion forums where they would post an article from the Drudge Report or the New York Times and then proceed to beat it to death with comments.

There were a few science centered Blogs, but they also followed these same two formats. And they were out in the periphery - with few members and very few visitors.

No it was the mega sites where the action was - a huge group of diverse members, lots of visitor traffic and a stable infrastructure.

The elements were now all in place for the perfect storm.

THE TRANSFORMATION



This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang, but a whimper

T. S. Eliot

It was the Ides of March, late in the night - on the hottest conservative forum on the Internet - that she appeared.

In an obscure section of that web site she posted a cryptically titled thread, made a comment about Ebola, a comment about God and then posted an advisory about a "worldwide health threat."

In a section that had seen only seven threads in the past seven days, she wove a strange, exotic and haunting thread for two days.

Then on the 17th of March she posted the first of 20 highly technical medical threads,

1. Precognition

2. Hong Kong Health Secretary calls for calm as SARS cases double, (83 up from 42 on Sunday)

3. LATEST SARS UPDATE - DETAILED MEDICAL INFORMATION

4. BREAKING BIG: POSSIBLE PATHOGEN DETECTED IN SARS CASE

5. Killer Virus (SARS) Identified


6. Seven victims of mystery pneumonia stayed on same floor of Hong Kong hotel

7. Guangdong doctor linked to SARS outbreak

8. President of the American Society of Microbiology on SARS - "Everything says it is airborne."

9. SARS REACHES HONG KONG SCHOOLS - 32 NEW CASES (IS THE BUG OUT OF THE BOX?)

10. CDC increases SARS cases to 22 in U.S.

11. CHINA CONFIRMS CASES AND DEATHS (SARS) - HONG KONG SITUATION DETERIORATING - 22 CASES IN US

12. Causative agent of SARS virus isolated from lung tissue - test is reliably identifying cases

13. SARS cases on the rise in Canada, may be spreading even further, 12 people showing symptoms

14. VIETNAM NEW SARS HOT ZONE, U.S. Warns Citizens in Vietnam To leave

15. SARS cases on the rise in Canada, may be spreading even further, 12 people showing symptoms

16. Singapore - 740 people quarantined, 14 new cases on Monday, Hospitals close, SARS spreads

17. 37 In United States May Have SARS

18. SARS epidemic spreads in Taiwan, three other CDC officials have become ill.

19. WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF SARS? ONE VIRUS, TWO VIRUSES WORKING IN CONCERT, OR A DETERMINANT UNKNOWN

20. Killer-flu a 'white terror': Expert, "It is the worst medical disaster I have ever seen.

21. Preliminary Clinical Description of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome


- and over the next eleven days guided both lay and professionals, transformed the web site, crushed the paradigm and changed the way we interface with breaking news forever.

Oh, and there is that strange aspect of her name.

Every literate person on the Web new and understood, not only what it meant, but the endless nuances that lay associated with that name, in this context.

She signed on as Mother Abigail.

THE NEW PARADIGM

Among the hundreds of posters and thousands of viewers on the Mother Abigail threads were; Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses, Pharmacists, Veterinarians and Health Care workers of every stripe.

It became apparent quite early that this was not to be the normal flu talk. This is an early post:

"Doug had an interesting observation in picking a Morbillivirus as a likely agent.

Hendra and Nipah are both zoonotic and it might well be a mutant of the Paramyxoviridae family. Symptoms are right.

Just because I have had tooooo much coffee, I will mention that both Hendra and Nipah have been given their own genus (Henipavirus).

Henipavirus becomes the fourth genus within the Paramyxovirinae subfamily of the Paramyxoviridae family. The other genera within the subfamily are Rubulavirus, Morbillivirus and Respirovirus."

52 posted on 03/17/2003 10:49:23 PM PST by Mother Abigail


And so it began.

Why was this different? Because local MD's discovered ProMed, because an army of netizens began searching every corner of our world for information, because citizens of other countries began translating information that would normally be missed - because the whole was larger than the sum of the parts.

One poster who tried to write about Mother Abigail soon after the incident, and was quickly banned, called it SARS Central.

Sounds right to me.

She hijacked a web site, created a forum for the "in depth" discussion of Virology, Taxonomy and Microbiology. But interactive.

And it is that interactivity that opened the flood gates. Now it was possible to monitor breaking news in a far off land, have experts opine on that news, react to their opinions and post information of your own.

NBC Nightly News was never going to be the same.

The "Flu Blog" was born.

DENOUEMENT

Eleven days. From March the 15th to March the 26 she posted, wrote and guided. Then with the same grace and dignity that marked every word she ever wrote - she said goodby.

It appears I have worked myself out of a job.

Many of you are now posting threads on SARS, and the information seems to be flowing in an accurate and timely manner.

So I will take this opportunity to thank all the posters for their hard work and diligence.

NOTE: I have tried to answer all the e-mails, except of course, the many that asked for personal information. Hope I was of some help

Stay Strong, Come and see me and - bring all your nice friends.......

20 posted on 03/26/2003 8:12:57 PM PST by Mother Abigail


Some help indeed....

Mother Abigail had become, in the wink of an eye, the focal point for much praise and some derision. Then she was gone.

A year or so later she began posting, from time to time, on various web sites - always modest - never speaking of those days again.

She continues to this day.

The story of the birth and development of the "Flu Blog" as an Internet phenomena is really the story of two remarkably similar women. You have met one.

The other, that I alluded to earlier, is a poster named Canada Sue. Where Mother Abigail left off - she began. Her story is a fascinating one that is worth the telling.

And I shall tell it next.

Saturday
January 6th, 2007
James S.
new_media_review@yahoo.com
29 posted on 02/22/2007 9:05:44 AM PST by James Oscar
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To: James Oscar

An amazing story you are telling, James.


30 posted on 02/22/2007 9:08:31 AM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Judith Anne

Thank you for your support.

I have followed your work in my research, and I have seen your posts on Curevents.

This new media is fascinating and the history of the transition is just now being written.

It is a pleasure to meet you.

James


31 posted on 02/22/2007 11:41:00 AM PST by James Oscar
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To: Mother Abigail

Good to see you Mother Abigail.


32 posted on 02/22/2007 4:50:09 PM PST by united1000 ("An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last " Sir Winston Churchill)
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To: Mother Abigail
Thanks go to you too, MA. You've been on top of things and have helped a lot of people who otherwise might not know anything about the potential for a flu pandemic. I've enjoyed reading all the information that you and the others post. I have a couple of sites that I have been keeping up with for several years. I always take things like this seriously. As a result, I've been able not only to prepare for myself, but for a lot of other people in my family and I still have a lot for other people too.

I always have enough food stored away to feed the Army. LOL Everyone knows that I do so they know they can come to my house and I will feed them. The very first thing I bought in preparation for this flu were the respirator masks, and I got a case of 200 of them. I've been adding other items as I go, and I will continue to do so, probably until the day I die. Eventually, IMHO, it's all going to come in handy. One thing's for sure. We'll know when it hits and we'll be ready. I just hope that other people would take this seriously and prepare.

33 posted on 02/23/2007 3:08:20 PM PST by NRA2BFree (Duncan Hunter for President '08 - A genuine "Reagan Republican" for America!)
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To: united1000


Good to "see" you as well.

My how the time flies.


34 posted on 02/23/2007 3:41:48 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: NRA2BFree


It is for you that paradise is opened, the tree of life is planted, the age to come is prepared, plenty is provided, a city is built, rest is appointed, goodness is established and wisdom perfected beforehand.


35 posted on 02/23/2007 4:12:23 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Mother Abigail
It is for you that paradise is opened, the tree of life is planted, the age to come is prepared, plenty is provided, a city is built, rest is appointed, goodness is established and wisdom perfected beforehand.

Amen! Thank you! What a wonderful day that's going to be. I'm looking forward to it. Not so much that I'm ready to go now, but at a time waaaay in the future. LOL! :o)

36 posted on 02/23/2007 4:20:32 PM PST by NRA2BFree (Duncan Hunter for President '08 - A genuine "Reagan Republican" for America!)
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