I'm just back from a very pleasant eight days on an island up the BC coast from Vancouver...great people, spectacular scenery, and the slowest dialup connection this side of Tibet. So I had no contact with the Web in general, never mind the flu-blog community.
Apart from the benefits to my mental health, it taught me something interesting. We certainly got the Canadian daily papers, and CBC radio and TV (every house on the island seems to have a satellite dish). So I could follow the news, and also the lack of news.
On the issue of avian flu, the print and radio news were almost silent. One columnist for the Globe & Mail did a flu piece, as a way of topping the uproar over the London bombings. A Vancouver paper did a story on the dubious ethics of privately stockpiling Tamiflu. And CBC Radio did one story on avian flu, a minute or so long, that could have run a month ago.
Apart from making me yearn for broadband, this silence reminded me of the "exformation" problem. Those of us who try to keep up with the story have a lot more information in common that we don't need to keep telling one another. The mainstream media can't assume that their audiences know a damn thing, so they stick to bite-size, entry-level factoids.
Some small fraction of the MSM audience may be interested enough to go googling in search of more. If they turn up on sites like this one, they may feel baffled if they can't get access to slightly more advanced information. While the old-timers are hot on the trail of ever more obscure genetic clues, the newcomers need clear, reliable orientation to the issues. I hope that some of the links here are serving that purpose. But if anyone does feel that the information here is confusing, please let me know.