A few years ago Tina Nerat and I visited Blacksburg and Virgina Tech as part of an information gathering process for Redwood Technology Consortium. We got to know a little about the campus and the community and many people there. The region, a largely rural area has had the reputation for years as the original Electronic Village. We had gone there to learn how this rural area had become a leader in telecommunications and what we might emulate in our regions. So, the horrible events that took place there yesterday has a personal connection for me. It’s hard to imagine that peaceful town and beautiful campus could be so turned upside down by such insane violence.

But it’s important to remember that tragedy can strike anywhere whether caused by a group of terrorists, a single madman, or the inevitable eruption of natural forces. Communications in the advent of such an event is crucial to how a community is capable of dealing with it. Andrew Cohill who happens to live in Blacksburg (and has spoken here a few years ago – links to an mp3 of an interview I did with Andrew back in 2003) has a good post on how crucial the Internet proved to be during that crisis. His comments, as so often on his blog, apply directly to our own situation here on the north coast.

I offer Andrew and all the friends and acquaintances I made in Blacksburg my sympathy and wish you strength in dealing with this event.