Posts about Internet

On Recovery 2.0

Bob Garfield talked to me about Recovery 2.0 on On the Media.

Recovery 2.0: The network

The AP reports that wimax is being deployed at a Katrina shelter and in New Orleans. Add this to Recovery 2.0.

: And here’s an AP story that illustrates just why we need Recovery 2.0 to at least communicate among good efforts:

It took Priddy and three other volunteers from the First Baptist Church most of the weekend to post details online on about 500 refugees.

Each person’s data had to be typed in five times to populate just five of as many as 50 online databases and message boards created to connect those displaced by the disaster with loved ones.

“It’s incredibly slow when you have to input each one,” Priddy said. “What’s aggravating is they are not in the same format so it’s not like you can cut and paste.”

Although the Internet makes it simple for people around the world to help out with disaster relief, all the well-intentioned but largely duplicative people-finding efforts have led to confusion, frustration and wasted time….

But who?

The Red Cross believes its Family Links Registry, previously used during civil wars abroad and the Asian tsunami, can perform that role. By Wednesday, more than 117,000 entries had been submitted by people seeking a loved one or reporting that they are safe, and many more people visited the site to conduct searches.

“Our Web site is so widely known and so heavily used that I think it’s got a momentum of its own,” said Sara Blandford, manager of international family tracing services at the
American Red Cross.

The site even has the blessing of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Nonetheless, the U.S.
Department of Justice turned to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when it wanted a database for refugee children and parents.

Having worked for years with local law enforcement agencies, the nonprofit organization was glad to build a database that, unlike the Red Cross’, has room for photos and the types of physical attributes familiar to police.

And then there’s the National Next of Kin Registry, a nonprofit group that is willing to work with relief organizations but can’t share data directly for privacy and security reasons, spokesman John Hill said. Its database isn’t publicly searchable.

Media organizations such as CNN and MSNBC have also created databases, as did the Web-only GulfCoastNews.com.

White eKnight

Fred Wilson doesn’t get why eBay is looking to buy Skype. Drat. I figured he’d explain it to me because I didn’t get it either. My ignorant theory: Just as eBay was seen as a benign investor when some Craigslit equity was out there looking for a home, I wonder whether eBay with its Omidyar roots is seen as less venal than other potential acquirers of Skype. Phone companies would buy it to destroy it. eBay would understand letting the customers rule. Still, Fred’s right: I don’t see what’s in it for eBay.

Recovery 2.0: A date to meet

Thanks to John Battelle and Web 2.0, we have a date and a room for a Recovery 2.0 meeting: Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Argent Hotel, 50 3rd Street, San Francisco. The aim, again, is to just to bring together smart people trying to do good things so we can do them better, not to create any giant organization and bureacracy (we already have FEMA and we know how well that’s working…). Background here; wiki here.

: LATER: See Chris Nolan on Recovery 2.0.

Recovery 2.0: The wiki, the place to work

Thanks to Greg Burton as well as N.Z. Bear, we now have a wiki to gather the wisdom and work of the crowds who are trying to better use the internet to respond to crises such as Katrina. Greg took the Recovery 2.0: Call to convene post and wikified it so you all can now adapt it and, most importantly, add:
1. Projects you are working on
2. Needs you see
3. Standards to rally around
4. Your names, expertise, and willingness to work.
I will be redirecting Recovery2.org there soon (otherwise crazed with work today) but in the meantime, please see the wonderful work Greg did here, at 4setup.com. And see Bear’s list of projects underway.

Also, please, please, tell me whether you can join a Recovery 2.0 meeting around Web 2.0 in San Francisco in the comments to this post. Depending on the response, we will or won’t get a room and a time thanks to John Battelle.

And I’ve been using the recovery2 tag; please do likewise with your posts. Thank you!