I lived in New Orleans from August 23, 2000 to December 18, 2004. During those years I fell in love with the city and had my life forever changed because of it. While an education at Tulane University was the driving force behind my residency in New Orleans, a contributing factor was the city's thriving electronic music culture. As I transitioned from high school to undergraduate studies, my passion for electronica was perhaps only exceeded by my love of computers.

Given my interests, it wasn't long into the fall of 2000 before I discovered the Disco Productions Forum. This was an online message board hosted by the company of successful rave promoter, Disco Donnie Estopinal, and grew to be the preeminent virtual community of electronica enthusiasts in the Gulf Coast region. Although the central focus of the discussion board was electronic music, it came to be a hotbed for bantering about all things New Orleans.

When I moved to Delaware in early 2005 to begin my career as a Communications Officer at Dover Air Force Base, I still made daily visits to the Disco Forum to maintain a connection to New Orleans. As Hurricane Katrina approached the Gulf Coast in late August 2005, my wife & I breathlessly watched the cable news coverage from our apartment in Dover as the disaster unfolded. It was truly like witnessing a loved one being tortured in slow motion.

Aside from being glued to the television coverage from our vantage point some 1,200 miles away, we also frantically searched online for any news concerning the fate of the city. At the time, Facebook was still in relative infancy and Twitter did not exist. The Disco Productions Forum, however, turned into a virtual water cooler where all those from New Orleans or with ties to it gathered to swap stories and information.

During any disaster, an uncurated information clearinghouse will be peppered with hyperbole, misinformation, and emotionally-fueled tirades. It will also have some amazing insights, rich details, and first person accounts that a book or movie written about the disaster just cannot capture.

After nearly two weeks of living on the Disco Forum in the lead-up to and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I realized that these hundreds of posts written by individuals impacted by the storm told an amazing story. So on the evening of September 7, 2005, I spent about two hours saving all of the Katrina-related posts to my hard drive.

This morning after I watched the fifth anniversary coverage of Katrina on Meet The Press, I remembered that I'd captured some really unique content all those years ago and hadn't done anything with it. So I've spent the rest of this August 29, 2010 compiling those threads from the Disco Forum created during the chaos of Hurricane Katrina.

All of the nearly 150 threads linked below are as I downloaded them on September 7, 2005. I've sequenced and time-stamped them in the order they were originally created because I think it truly illustrates how consuming and spreading information during a disaster is a bit like being in the fog of war. The only modifications I've done are to change the links in multi-page threads so that page 1 properly links to page 2, page 2 to page 3, and so on. All posts and their respective content are the ideas and responsibility of their respective authors. Some of the posts are controversial, profanity-laden, or have come to be understood as untrue with the luxury of five years of hindsight. I am reposting them today because I believe they have some historical significance and serve as a valuable reference for those who study Hurricane Katrina, social networks, disaster preparedness, disaster response, and the influence of the media on our culture.

God Bless New Orleans.

Friday, August 26, 2005

11:08PM - Everyone has Monday off!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

9:21AM - official WTFHURRICANE thread

3:58PM - Hurricane Evacuation Poll for Saturday

5:05PM - tulane info

Sunday, August 28, 2005

12:26AM - is anybody riding this bitch out?

2:29AM - Hello from Memphis

2:41AM - UPDATE: Katrina 145mph

2:57AM - Nagin considers mandatory evacuation order

8:16AM - Can we get a List of confirmed people that are riding it out?

11:02AM - winds now 175mph

2:55PM - street performers in the french quarter

3:20PM - The "Where The Hell are You?" Thread

4:18PM - so which building/structure would you be HAPPY to see destroyed?

5:03PM - KAtrina update

5:21PM - top ten things you are gonna miss about new orleans

7:02PM - i just found out that i am coming to new orleans on tuesday for disaster relief

7:03PM - Where are you relocating after Katrina?

9:36PM - "I just dont wanna die in this T-shirt."

10:33PM - worst possible case scenerio

Monday, August 29, 2005

10:36AM - 9th ward levee has broken

1:14PM - Downtown Nola Pics Inside No Joke

4:09PM - If there's anything I want to see a picture of, it's this

4:22PM - uptown area by the riverbend

6:06PM - i hope you guys are all ok...

11:04PM - Hurricane Aftermath Pics Inside

11:05PM - so whats everyone thinking now

11:08PM - more Katrina pic's inside

11:38PM - to everyone out there who has to go through this

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

1:07AM - check out the ray nagin interview

9:36AM - 17th street canal levee breaks

11:13AM - holy shit Times-Picayune is evacuating their building

2:02PM - shark spotted in nola

2:15PM - unofficial report

3:23PM - no school for the rest of the year/updates

4:05PM - More NOLA Disaster Pics Inside

5:08PM - Vampire Stripper Sluts Party & Voodoo Music Fest.

6:08PM - Are Ashley and Gustavo out?

7:35PM - The attempt to fix the breach failed

8:49PM - Where Is The 17 Street Canal Located?

8:57PM - looting and hostage situations

9:04PM - years from now

9:10PM - Nine Feet Of Water Is Expected On St. Charles Ave.

9:49PM - Hey guys...

11:38PM - do i still need to pay rent on thursday?

11:51PM - update from home

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

12:00AM - Any Idea what happened to the Aquarium?

1:12AM - christ this update is TERRIBLE

2:02AM - Shots Fired At The Superdome

4:27AM - Katrina

5:43AM - Superdome of Shame (Article Inside) BEWARE... it's not nice

6:48AM - My Mom Just Left for New Orleans...

8:39AM - 8- to 10-week timeline for recovery is now pushed back four weeks due to the delay

9:40AM - Update from a National Guard friend INSIDE the SuperDome

9:48AM - does anyone know...

9:50AM - what the fuck is wrong with blanco?

10:01AM - People In Superdome Will Be Moved To The Astrodome

10:41AM - downtown BR

11:01AM - Hurricane Updates and things

11:43AM - Expert: $4 a gallon gasoline coming soon

12:01PM - if i hear all circuits are busy again....

12:27PM - white people find.. black people loot

12:38PM - GBNO - god bless new orleans

1:18PM - good news update

3:01PM - anyone have info about KZR?

3:09PM - where are YOU going to live until its time to go back?

4:28PM - Levee funding under Bush

5:49PM - Fox News- Atl $5.57 For Gas!

8:56PM - i cant even find words for this report:

9:11PM - to the people carjacking and looting homes

9:40PM - Apartment info in Gonzales/BTR


11:11PM - Reclaiming the Big Easy (Article Inside)

Thursday, September 1, 2005

8:17AM - a friend of mine posted this story on myspace

9:03AM - Superdome Evacuation Halted Amid Gunfire

10:08AM - Satellite imagery of NOLA before and after

10:23AM - some industrial NOLA pictures

10:52AM - Did Anyone Else See The Footage On Fox Of Dark Smoke Rising Near Harrah's?

12:16PM - carjacking/shooting at Racetrack on Bluebonnet

12:18PM - Is anyone volunteering?

12:43PM - I hear a lot of people saying 'yeah those looters will stop when the army is called'

2:35PM - who is running this shit

2:55PM - Riot in Monroe

2:56PM - Blanco seems shaken up.

3:33PM - Murders & Rapes At The Convention Center off of Canal Street

4:27PM - Speaker of the house saying not to rebuild NOLA

5:05PM - fats domino missing//with actual link

5:56PM - great salon article on aftermath - very localized

Friday, September 2, 2005

12:09AM - fuckin' a right

1:04AM - Who has filed for FEMA ?

1:09AM - sooo about going home on monday

1:09AM - what city/state in the country would you relocate to?

1:12AM - astrodome is full!

6:00AM - New Orleans Area Hurricane Cartoons I Found

10:07AM - Master P's Uncle is Missing & Cash Money Damn Near lost Everything(Article Inside)

10:09AM - Which Building Is This Burning On Fox News Across From The W?

10:41AM - If you haven't seen the DirectNic Blog

11:20AM - Links to Ray Nagin's interview

11:24AM - Bush to tour NO on foot

1:19PM - buses at the convention center!

2:26PM - best hurricane rumor so far! (from out of state LJ)

4:39PM - My dad is repairing the 17th street canal

5:48PM - Evacuation Bus Flipped Over North of Laffayette

5:52PM - Whos responsible??

7:01PM - FEMA Director Mike Brown's Job Experience

7:07PM - Not Surprising - "Tulane University cannot hold a fall semester on its campus."

7:27PM - Screw Fallujah. Save New Orleans!

9:07PM - Real News on What Happened at the Convention Center

9:08PM - Kanye West...

9:23PM - New Orleans, Proud to Call it Home bumper stickers

11:25PM - General Honore

Saturday, September 3, 2005

1:39AM - whatever happen to gas for 2 bucks

4:48AM - Napster Offers Disaster Download, Others Get Involved

10:45AM - New Orleans the city we know and love

11:28AM - Important Legal Records in City Hall Basement - WTF

1:29PM - who has gas in br????

2:30PM - Bringing the uniformed up to speed

2:55PM - Google Maps - Now With Katrina Button

3:08PM - Great Op Ed Piece On NOLA In The Washington Post

7:02PM - bigups to RED CROSS. everyone needs to go

7:50PM - Does anyone know about The Palace

Sunday, September 4, 2005

12:42AM - How I'd like to help The New New Orleans T-Shirt

12:49AM - anyone need a ride tomorrow to reclaim our shit?

8:53AM - anne rice gets involved..

9:01AM - For Real Cartoon About The Levees

10:33AM - Aaron Broussard just lost it on Meet the Press

11:08AM - lol read this ... the GOVERMENT made katrina

11:15AM - Well my sister who is in the Army that is a Mortician is going to be deployed to

11:41AM - it's a big game of fucking telephone

11:48AM - michael moore. letter to bush.

1:12PM - New Post-Katrina Photos Around Tulane-Broadway-Uptown

2:09PM - New Orleans mayor fears CIA to take him out World Net Daily | September 4 2005 Ne New Orlea

3:41PM - info on downtown damage

4:11PM - Hurricane Katrina Flickr Pool

6:04PM - fuck the saints

6:06PM - Picture Of A Dead Woman On Magazine Street (Photo Inside)

7:59PM - Rescue Helicopter Crashed in New Orleans

Monday, September 5, 2005

11:28AM - Decadence

12:02PM - Visions of a New New Orleans

1:37PM - picture of the Marigny flood

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

2:47AM - Donald Trump to build in New Orleans

7:22PM - A Rather Pointed E-mail Posted On Slashdot About The New Orleans Disaster

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

10:36AM - 2 articles I found interesting on Katrina

Thursday, September 8, 2005

6:20PM - More Newspaper Cartoons Of The NOLA Disaster