|| Author: James Johnson|Tags:

#Instacane: The Day Instagram Started Mattering For Hyperlocal News


I love Instagram, I love the ease at which photos can be uploaded, I love the sleek interface the program offers, I love that sharing and tagging photos is friendly on my iPhone, but I honestly never thought of Instagram as a hyperlocal news source until the arrival of #Instacane, a project aimed at sharing individual stories about Hurricane Irene in the form of photos.

The idea behind the setup is simple, users take photos, provide a quick title that describes the scene they chose to share from the storm and tag those photos with hashtags and usertags to provide a sense of the scene they captured on their cameras and phones.

Hovering over each photo provides the information users entered into that photo (see the bridge photo above for an example).

What I love about the program is the fact that there’s no slant, the pictures tell the story, not only about the devastation of the Hurricane, the only angle that mainstream media seemed to offer, they also tell the story about the beauty that came with the calm before the storm and the community that arose as people simply stayed inside and hung out with friends. Sure users can take what they want from each photo but in their most basic of forms they tell the truth behind the story.

From preparing for the hurricane to hunkering down during the worst parts of the storm to the actual cleanup after the mess, #Instacane is the type or reporting I appreciate, it’s simple, it’s beautiful in it’s own right and it’s honest.