Sunday, 17 April 2011

The #quakebook blog has moved!

We're happy to announce that the #quakebook blog has now moved to This new home will allow us to bring you updates in multiple languages, and gives us the flexibility we need to expand as the project moves forward.

If you have subscribed to this site via RSS, please update your feed: the new URL is

Many Thanks.

The #quakebook Team

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Quakebook on sale now

This is the moment we have all been dreaming about and working so hard for: 2:46 - Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake is now on sale. Let me rephrase that.


The Kindle ebook is available to buy from anywhere in the world at or You don't even need a Kindle. Just go to the order page and download (for free) a Kindle reader for your Mac, PC or smart phone.

The book is $9.99. In some cases, the price may be quoted as $11.99 for international customers. But Amazon has assured Quakebook that any international handling fees will be reimbursed.

Every single penny that you spend on Quakebook will go directly to the Japanese Red Cross. Nothing for Amazon, nothing for Quakebook. Everything for the survivors of the Japan disasters.

I'd just like to say two things:

1. Well done everyone involved in this, I'm so proud of all of you.
2. Buy the book, and tell the world to buy the book.

It makes a difference. You make a difference.

Our Man in Abiko

The Making of the #quakebook video

Like a lot of people shocked by the earthquake and tsunami, but living in Ireland with my Japanese wife Tomomi, I (@Crank_Dub) felt pretty far away and helpless. With limited news coming out for the first few days we were obsessively following the newsfeeds, blogs and Twitter for any snippet of information. It was while doing this that I just happened to see Ourmaninabiko's first tweet, the one where he put his idea for the book out into the ether. I followed his subsequent tweets and it was like seeing little thought bubbles, like watching someone else think out loud.

Not being a writer and feeling that any written contribution I might make would be puerile, inadequate and, at best, semi-literate, I didn't respond to Ourman's request for submissions, but kept a weather eye on proceedings as they developed. Watching Ourman and his growing team of volunteers felt like the worldwide response to the quake, only in microcosm. However, unlike the foreign media who quickly became jaded and moved on, #quakebook stayed with the story.

When Ourman put out a request for translators, I alerted Tomomi and she was delighted that, at last, there was something tangible she could do. When a subsequent request went out for other volunteers, I felt I had to respond, expecting my involvement would be small and pretty limited. But like Silvio Dante in the Soprano's, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

During an online brainstorming session on Yammer one of the volunteers suggested making a promotional video and, since video is what I do for a living, I couldn't in all conscience sit there and say nothing. But how could I even begin to promote Quakebook in the manner it deserved and, at the same time, respect the plight of the Japanese people? Like leaving your homework until Sunday night, I put it off for a couple of days, trying to figure out what to do.

It was seeing the amazing photographs taken by Max Hodges when he travelled into some of the affected areas just after the tsunami that clicked with me. I was particularly taken by his photographs of the 'Small Things', people's everyday possessions now lying lost within the all pervasive mud. I contacted him and he very graciously gave permission for them to be used.

The second part of the puzzle was Scala and Kolacny Brothers, the amazing girls choir from Belgium, who recorded a truly heartfelt version of the Kings of Leon song 'Use Somebody'. I uploaded the song to the computer, edited it down to 60 seconds, put it with Max's photographs and, using an adapted Adobe After Effects template, pretty quickly compiled a rough video. I then tried the video with lots of other music and songs but the only piece that was perfect in every way, that made the video more than the sum of its parts, was 'Use Somebody'.

The difficulty was, if I was going to use the song, I would have to get permission. Now we all know that famous bands get pestered constantly by people looking for a piece of them and I didn't want to join that throng. But I figured I wasn't asking for myself. I was borrowing the voices of those who survived the tsunami and asking on their behalf.

The Scala choir were immediately positive:

""We would of course be more than happy to help, but this song is publishing controlled so you would need permission from the publisher".

So, one step forward and two steps back into a world I use to work in. Knowing the music business, I was expecting it to be impossible to even find the right person to talk to, let alone get a response. But two guys, Rob Christensen of Bug Music and Steve Barton of Warner/Chappell publishing, responded quickly and positively. Rob researched who controlled all the bits of the publishing, contacted the Kings of Leon and, with the minimum of fuss, granted Quakebook a worldwide licence for 2 years to make a promotional video in multiple languages to advertise the book. When I thanked him and his company on behalf of Quakebook, he responded

"We’re glad to help out and honestly, the majority of the credit should go to Kings of Leon for being willing to donate their song..."

With the publishing clearance obtained I again contacted Scala and Kolacny Brothers and Glenn Stone of their management team got back to me within a few hours:

"The group is happy to co-operate in a charitable endeavor to support Japanese quake relief."

So a huge vote of thanks to all those who could have been difficult and unhelpful but instead immediately went out of their way to assist the people of Japan at this time. Thank you all so much.


Giant Robot interviews Our Man in Abiko

Eric Nakamura, editor and publisher of Giant Robot, does a superb interview with @ourmaninabiko for Mr. Nakamura's blog. Please enjoy this excellent piece at the link below:

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Quakebook Editor Interviewed by News 1130 Vancouver

On Thursday, 7 April, News 1130 in Vancouver, British Columbia, interviewed Quakebook editor @ThatDanRyan for a short piece about the book. A clip from an audio interview also accompanies the article.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Quakebook Translations

Currently, there are people working on translating Quakebook into Japanese, French, Spanish, Greek, German and Portuguese. We are looking for Chinese translators too.

If you can help out, we would be very grateful so that Quakebook can reach the widest audience possible.

And if you can translate this post below into Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Chinese (or any other language!) that would also help.

Merci, thanks, gracias, danke, efharisto, arigato, obrigada.....

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Get Ready for the Launch!!

Whatever device you have, be it a Mac, Windows PC, Kindle, iPhone, Blackberry, you will shortly be able to read Quakebook for yourself.

Download the appropriate Kindle Reader here from Amazon.

Do it NOW and be ready!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Get involved - we have our first flier!

Wondering what you can to do to support QuakeBook? We have our first flier for you to print out - download it here.

There are more posters to crank up your printers and start preparing your windows, walls, car, local library, shops, schools, and businesses for QuakeBook promotions!

Thank you to the Quakebook editor who has produced this - @ThatDanRyan. The cover of the book itself is by James White and Edd Harrison.

If you have ideas for promotion and for Quakebook, please complete the volunteer form To all those who have completed that form, we are hugely grateful for your offers. If you haven't received an invite to our Yammer community yet, it's coming! We are marginally swamped but in a far more positive manner than those we are trying to support.

Ourman on the radio

Please tune in to this VS Sunday Canadian radio show - The Maple Syrup Edition - to listen to OurManinAbiko and revpaperboy talking about Quakebook.

The show, Virtually Speaking, is on BlogTalk Radio and will be aired SHORTLY.

It will also be available on itunes

Please show Quakebook your continuing support as we move towards the launch. Thank you.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Quakebook theme tune?

@ourmaninabiko pushed @FatBlueMan to write a song, before the idea of Quakebook was born (about 10mins before!)

And here is that song.....

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Global media coverage for Quakebook

It is really quite astounding how much coverage Quakebook has received already.

Don't forget to read what others are saying about Quakebook on the Media page.

Friday, 1 April 2011

@ourmaninabiko ... the man without a name, but no longer without a face

Our Man in Abiko (center) ... seen in living color for the first time.

At left, #quakebook advisor Kevin Carroll. At right, Time magazine correspondent (and Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan event moderator) Lucy Birmingham.

Streaming the Quakebook press conference ...

The technology wizard behind this morning's livestream of the Quakebook press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan was Joseph Tame (foreground), who not only set up the stream, but also livetweeted the action. What does Joseph get up to in his spare time? Check it out.

#QuakeBook Press Conference at the FCCJ, Tokyo

At 10am JST on Friday 1st April 2011, OurManinAkibo took to the stage at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

For those of you who were unable to attend in person, we have a recording of it here.