Mr Rampersad said: "Imagine if an aid worker in the field spotted a need for water purification tablets, and had a central place to send a text message to that effect. "He can message the server, so the server can send out an e-mail message and human or machine moderators can e-mail aid agencies and get it out in the ield." . . .The idea is to use open-source software - software can be used by anyone without commercial restraint - and a far-flung network of talent to create a system that links those in need with those who can help.Jude at Iddybudy has a thorough post also detailing this technological collaboration, and she pointed me to Taran's own blog--it's fascinating to read an interviewee's post-interview wrap-up. Obviously, he's got lots of fascinating detail on the potential of mass media warning systems. Yesterday he went over a New Scientist article on the subject, pointing out that there's greater reach and stability with multiple systems that complement each other. "For example, the SMS broadcast could be sent to an email list of HAM operators, or even broadcast to specific people who are HAM operators in the region. The possibilities are limited to what is usable within the affected region." He also links to an amazing article at digitaldivide.net by Andy Carvin:
"This is a classic smart mobs situation where you have people self-organizing into larger enterprise to do things that benefit other people," says Paul Saffo, a director at the California-based Institute for the Future.
One of the first stories to hit home for me was that of Mr. Vijaykumar, a former volunteer at a telecenter in Nallavadu, India, run by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. Vijaykumar, who's now living in Singapore, received word of the tsunami well before anyone in southern India did. He called his family in Nallavadu, then called the telecenter. Another telecenter colleague living abroad, Mr. Gopu, did the same thing. Immediately the community sprung into action. Using the telecenter's public address system, local volunteers alerted fellow villagers. Among the 500 families in Nallavadu, 150 of their houses were destroyed -- yet no one died, because the telecenter responded to the imminent crisis at a time when no other local or national warning system was in place.That's power.
Spring 2006: Guest Bloggers!
Rishi | Scott | Emily
Echan | Robert | ToastyKen