The starting point is simple: I thought it would be a good idea to use this opportunity to get into a room some of the people who want to find ways that the internet can be better at responding to needs in the next disaster, and in the recovery from recent disasters. What comes out of this, if anything, is up to everyone in the room. I’ll suggest a starting point and will, as Craig says, get out of the way. I will be the least qualified person in the room to lead anything; I’ll be eager too follow. We’ll get this on the wiki and I urge you to correct, add, delete.
The cause: What made me write my first Recovery 2.0 post was seeing a confusing though good-intentioned array of more than 50 boards and means to find the missing. We need to do better.
Two goals: We need to be better at swarming. That is, when we see a need, perhaps the best thing to do is to see whether someone is trying to meet that need and whether they’re doing it well. If so, perhaps the best thing to do is point people to that effort with the power of our links. If not, the choices are to offer to help or to do better. The distributed nature of the internet is its greatest strength but so is our ability to swarm and pool our efforts.
Thus we also need to be better at communicating. We need a means or a place to better share needs, solutions, resources, and calls and offers of help.
A review: Tom Evslin suggested that we should do some self-criticism of the internet’s response to recent disasters: What should and can we do better?
Needs: We need a place to communicate. Is a Recovery2.org wiki enough? Do we need a blog and a forum?
David Weinberger suggests that we need tags or a microformat so the things people do in our distributed places can be discovered.
Field day: Jeff Pulver is suggesting that the web, like ham radio operators, hold a field day to test what it can do.
Meeting: Yes? No?
Names: Who’s doing what?
We’ll be together just an hour or two. Nothing will be accomplished. Much should be started.
I would love to have a volunteer at the meeting act as wikimaster to record ideas and issues. Thanks to Ross Mayfield at Socialtext and the great work of Greg Burton, we’ll soon have a new wiki at Recovery2.org.