The very first time I’d ever actually surfed the web was all the way back in the year 1993 when I discovered there was starting to be some talk on the subject and it had gone so far as one of the local TV stations now having a website. I began to keep a list of all the things and places that I had heard about on the internet and one day I waltzed into one of my local libraries with the list and asked if I could use that one single computer parked all the way over in the far corner of the Reference Department that had been set aside as an internet computer.
It wasn’t any more difficult than your basic card catalogs that had already gone to computers at some of the libraries just a few years earlier. There were a lot of years that followed where I would be able to access the internet from time to time through a lot of different access points. In Los Angeles there were also libraries that had computers set aside for internet use and an occasional motel would have an internet terminal in the lobby that would usually just be sitting there lonely until I came along and would make use of it. Don’t get me wrong there was like at least one other person from all throughout time that also has used one of those computer terminals at random motels you know. Then truck stops started to have them here and there and before long I was able to virtually always keep up with the weather no matter where I was going as well as the latest earthquakes, too! These were the very early years of Social Networking or Social Media as I’ve also heard it called. Although not exactly yet up to the point where I had come across any actual Social Networks.
I did happen to start to find that more and more of my friends were gaining an interest in the internet and I was about to start learning some of my best stuff from them.
I think it was probably one of my neighbors up in Hollywood who was the very first person I remember sitting and staring at a computer for a lot of hours. Whether it had anything to do with it or not, he also worked for one of the today huge outfits that I’m sorry I will be unable to give any details about, but it was to get even more huge in the years after I left Hollywood and I’m sure he was probably a part of that growth, too! Not giving any names to sweeten this story here, sorry.
I must have had some contact with E-Mail all the way back in the days of apprentice school because one of my friends from L.A. apprentice class had “Web-TV” and gave me his Web-TV E-Mail address and it resulted in never actually loosing track of him. Even sent him one or two good “EQ Alerts” for L.A. in the days since we were in the classroom during that great “L.A. Apprentice Class Prediction.”
After I was back home and had pulled up stakes and was all done working and living in California, one of my friends back home had picked up a computer somewhere along the way and this was about to further my knowledge even more! First, one of the other guys I know was sending messages recorded via “Sound Recorder” and I still even have one of those saved somewhere today. That so far has turned out NOT to be a trend like I thought at the time it might. Neither was sending E-Mail messages in every type and style of fonts that you could find on there, either, or colors for that matter, assuming by now everybody has figured that part all out and has by now sent and probably received a few of those themselves. So, I finally had my own E-Mail address but it would be quite a while yet before I would be putting it to use sending out any “EQ Alerts” via E-Mail.
There were probably a lot of “EQ Alerts” that had gone out before I learned how to save copies for myself. The very first one that ended up actually preceding a Major Earthquake was probably the one I sent out prior to the Paso Robles Earthquake in December of 2003. All of the actual details on that one are discussed somewhere else in this book already so I won‘t explain all of that again here. Here I just want to say that if there were any E-Mails, or EQ Alerts sent out to anybody, before December 2003, I do not personally have any copies and up to this point have not located any of them anywhere. From memory it seems like there was a big North Dakota earthquake that was preceded by a hurricane that made landfall in the Gulf of Baja California that did have an E-Mail or two that I sent out, but I don’t know of any copies that exist.
That was early 2002 and it is possible that I had sent something even earlier than that like to a place called “Seismo” in Reno that I used to follow a long time ago but haven’t heard anything from in a long time.
It was also around that time that I just so happened to attend an auction where there were a lot of old laptops being auctioned off.
Today this is the place where I got my first laptop on which I would later write the First Edition of my book How To Predict Earthquakes. Learning how to use WordPad was hard enough back in them days but it was all I needed to do what I basically just wanted to do with that laptop.
This was all happening at around the same time in the year 2003 also, because both the very first EQ Alert--E-Mail that I have copies of actually SAVED and the very first edition of my book were BOTH from December of 2003. Therefore the version of the E-Mail not saved would have been from January 2003.
The December 2003 “EQ Alert” still only exists in the printed out format, and the other one that still exists only in printed out format is the September 2004 “EQ Alert: California.” So it was only at some point in time between “EQ Alert: California” and “Big EQ Alert” for Indonesia that preceded the Sumatra 2004 Earthquake that I learned how to actually SAVE myself a copy of those “EQ Alerts” as I was sending them out. Which makes sense because it was why I was also learning how to write my first book on WordPad at the same time. My method even still today consists of sending myself a copy and then saving my copy in my Earthquake Stuff files and then, at a later date, saving all of that to a travel drive. However anymore I am producing far more writing right at my EQ Blog and worry very little about saving any copies for myself.
I think without going into it any further that for whatever reason that December 2003 one IS a saved version, but I know for sure September 2004 is not. Although it may only have been saved in PDF version later not to confuse the reader of course. I can not say for sure why 2003 is and 2004 isn’t. It would make more sense the other way around, you know. For sure, though, “Big EQ Alert” IS saved still to this day there are still copies of that one floating around here everywhere. I probably went through a one year period of not saving everything I sent or perhaps not yet deciding if I should save everything and as a result not saving a lot of them. Ironic that period was followed by a very long period in which I saved everything I sent out and then again followed by right now when I post quite a lot of it right to my EQ Blog and don’t have any copies of a lot of those for myself as I am writing this here today on June 30, 2013.
I’m sure there’s a lot more stuff about the internet and E-Mail in general that I could write but the next thing I want to discuss is all of the different “Web-Logs” that started to pop up everywhere. It wasn’t too long before the words “Web-Log” were just shortened down into the word Blog and not too long after that before just about everybody who was anybody had one.
I started right away spending some time checking out different blogs to see what different people were writing about and trying to figure out how I might write one. Some of the first blogs that I would read on a regular basis were written by the guys who actually run the blogs such as Tom at MySpace writing about what all was going on back in them days as far as new apps and everything, obviously a long time ago because today you don’t hear of MySpace too much. That also became one of my first attempts at Social Networking for the purposes of my work with earthquakes.
I think Mary Kate and Ashley was one of the very first blogs on the internet, not that I was a regular reader there or anything like that, though, I’m thinking they blogged about fashion and were just introducing a new line of clothes or something like that. Some other blogs I enjoyed reading when I was just starting out include ones that were quite a lot more political and I don’t happen to have any of their names handy, except to add that it was so long ago we still called them journals.
I just noticed the other day that my old MySpace EQ Blog is on there again after being missing for quite some time. It was during those days when MySpace was changing a lot and maybe I just lost track of where the button was for blog, not sure, I just know I hadn’t seen it in quite some time.
We are up to the point where I decided I should have a MySpace for my earthquake work and so I started a MySpace under the name “Earthquake Alert” all one word or whatever, and maybe with EQ Guy for my name on there somewhere, not sure. I do know there’s the pic of the globe that sort of represents me, though.
I started to have a lot of friends on MySpace, of course that was still back in the days when you could just add people and suddenly have hundreds of friends. They don’t let you do that anymore and on Facebook they won’t even let me add Palos Verde because I “Don’t personally know Palos Verde.” So I only have to this day something like two hundred friends on Facebook.
I wrote my MySpace EQ Blog whenever there was an earthquake to write about and once or twice sent ones that were just a little more important out via message to folks that were in the areas I was most concerned about, usually mostly L.A., or S.F., but I suppose occasionally Seattle, too, since on MySpace I had friends in all of those places.
I suppose MySpace was probably like the renaissance of social networking back in those days and I don’t recall if I had my own personal MySpace right from the start, or if I started out on there as EQ Guy. Most likely the procedure I was using was to try it out under my own name and fully learn how to use it and really make it work, then when I thought I knew enough about how it all worked and could get one going especially for earthquakes, then I would do just that.
That would most likely have been the beginnings of what you should still be able to view on there today at www.myspace.com/earthquakealert
Then, there was the one about the earthquake that was headed directly for San Francisco and while I probably might have written on my MySpace EQ Blog at the time, but I do believe I used the “Bulletin” feature for this purpose back in those days. It was the fact that I thought this one important enough that I should also be sending it out by direct message to all my folks right in the San Francisco area that makes this story so important, though.
When a 4.2 Richters Earthquake struck just a mile or so from Oakland, California back in July of 2007, I received back two letters from a couple of my friends out in San Francisco who both wanted to personally thank me for letting them know ahead of time that there was going to be an earthquake. One of them also said she would tell all her friends!
At some point I had eventually decided that I might also need to give You Tube a try and I took about the next big EQ Alert that came along and made it into a “Digital EQ Alert” and posted it to my new Earthquake You Tube! Now there have been several of these “Digital EQ Alerts” produced and posted on there since the days when I first started on there, as well as a few songs about earthquakes that I’ve written and one or two other great earthquake related videos I’ve made along the way. In my favorites section you can see a lot of videos of earthquakes in action! Many of those ones where the cam caught all the walls and windows starting to shake along with all of the people running out of buildings! My Earthquake You Tube page is at www.youtube.com/earthquakealert
Eventually I decided it was time for me to try out one of those actual Blog things since that was not exactly up to that point what I had been doing. I was never real sure if the sort of work I did could be that well adapted to the art of Blog writing and as a result, I was never sure if I wanted to jump into it. The one I had that was associated with my EQ MySpace probably worked fine as far as just mostly my friends on MySpace were concerned, but I was never sure if it constituted having a real blog per se.
Somewhere along the way I ran into a couple real nice blogs that were hosted by blogspot or blogger and that would end up being the one that I ultimately decided to go with and still use today at least as of this writing.
Unless this company decides to change how they operate like a lot of the other companies seem to like to do all of the time, then this blog should continue to work well for me long into the future. It also has the ability to click on any year and find virtually any of my EQ Blogs from the past by year and month and in a lot of cases you can even search by the banner headline through virtually all of my past EQ Blogs. I can change the colors, fonts, links, post pics, embedded vids, and you name it. Hope they’ll leave it alone, it works quite well just like it is today, and has everything. The address for that EQ Blog is www.earthquakealert.blogspot.com and that blog is probably one of the biggest things of all at helping me in my effort towards Bringing Earthquakes To Life!
There was a period of time when I might have ran both the MySpace EQ Blog and the Blogspot EQ Blog all at the same time and this was about at the same time as Twitter came along.
For a while I was never sure if Twitter should be sort of a blog itself or exactly what I should do with the 120 characters that you use on that service to “Tweet.” What became clear to me first off was that I now had the opportunity to “Follow” quite a lot of other folks with this new Twitter service and keep up on what all was happening say at the Los Angeles Zoo, or the Chicago Sun-Times, as well. Following a lot of different West Coast people on Twitter allows me to keep up-to-date the moment an earthquake strikes just about anywhere out there due to Twitter having lists. Wherever the earthquake struck, Northern or Southern California, L.A., or San Francisco. . . I can simply click on that list and quickly read to find out how everybody’s doing in that part of the state as well as several other places around the world where I have followers or vice-versa. It was immediately a new deal all together as far as being the new source for a lot of this real great information. Although it took me quite some time to be a good writer inside of their 120 character format, you know.
It wouldn’t be too long before I figured out how to “follow” a few of the various USGS Twitters and a few others who also Tweeted the latest earthquake information and figured out how to have specifically those tweets sent directly to my cell phone by way of the “Short Message Service” or SMS. It wouldn’t be too long before my phone was ringing quite regularly, or chiming after I learned to adjust that too, and I would now have every single earthquake being sent directly to my cell phone via text message almost the exact instant they happen. By only now following the services that send me the biggest earthquakes, I no longer receive up to 50 text messages a day like I did for a while there. Although I must say it did cost me a little bit of money to learn that.
Somewhere along the way my tweets on my EQ Twitter page at www.twitter.com/eqalert became primarily tweets that were similar to the headline of a recent EQ Blog and then a link to my EQ Blog, although I can also use it for minute by minute tweets of different events such as re-tweeting aftershocks of a Major Earthquake or some Lakers and Kings games.
After operating my EQ Blog and EQ Twitter in parallel for quite some time, I discovered sort of a bug in this system the way I was running it at the time. Later EQ Blog entries were starting to appear at the top if you were to click on a link in an older tweet. Somehow I discovered in my travels that there was such a thing as clicking on the headline for a specific EQ Blog entry and then cutting and pasting just that blog entry to my Twitter page and thus, hopefully, creating a more or less permanent link to the exact EQ Blog entry that the tweet was referring to on the date it was posted.
As of this writing today I have now been using Twitter since about the year 2009 and my EQ Blog has now branched out into EQ Blog-2, and EQ Blog-3 as well as a blog for my work as Quake Chaser, and one I just started a week or so ago I call “Earthquake Central.” I have recently started using the new Earthquake Central EQ Blog to post some of those really long lists of all the earthquakes contained in a swarm for folks who like to see the whole entire list of like a hundred earthquakes that struck one single location over a number of hours. I had also given some thought to using it as a Blog where I post write-ups of just earthquake events that happen like on a day-to-day basis.
Finally in the mainstream forward movement of Facebook, I eventually checked it out and have a page on there titled EQ Guy, but they don’t do business like the other social networks have over the years so I actually do very little on there other than to have a couple friends that moved to there from MySpace. I will occasionally cut and paste a recent EQ Tweet to my EQ Facebook, but as anybody who uses it knows. . . . . it will be subject to the whim of somebody, somewhere as to if anybody will ever see it, or not.
It occurred to me more than once along the way that the science of Earthquake Prediction was starting to look more and more like it was going to surely come riding in on the current wave of social networking or social media as they’re also calling it now, and so far it appears to be happening. You may agree that it is now kind of ironic that some of my best advances have been made courtesy of all the stuff available on the internet such as sources of information about practically every single earthquake throughout history versus that day in 1994 when I was just starting out my research when quite a lot of it still came from old “Brick and Mortar” encyclopedias, and microfilm.
Today I can make even those quickest of five minute searches now in seconds I can get the exact magnitude, date, time, everything on most all major earthquakes through history. Then came all the lists of recent earthquakes that are available and I can honestly add that from time to time I will occasionally even be able to say an earthquake might strike here due to the fact that I see on this list of current earthquakes that recent one have struck here and here. Kind of a science of “Precision Plate Tectonics” as I like to call it and one I find myself using more and more often as of today July 1, 2013.
That is also the date when I just this morning walked out to the mailbox and received my very first check from that EQ Blog. It has taken me several years to accrue the amount they require your account to build up to before they pay-out, but it was just last month when I had a good month of like four or five dollars and went over that magic number and got that first check in the mail today courtesy of all the work I’ve done with earthquakes up to this point, for $104! Thank-You to everybody who has checked out that EQ Blog over the years, too, and made that possible!!! You are a very important part of my work towards Bringing Earthquakes To Life.