|Saturday, September 3, 2005|
The KatrinaHelp team is really doing some good work on building a resource for news, aid and relief for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. I spent the day today giving back, first because the disaster makes me sad, and secondly, I feel such a close part of the community that so selflessly gave to build the tsunamihelp resource, many of whom are now active in this effort too. Some of the activities I observed that are going on :
Links to the wiki and blog sites (thanks Peter for compiling them) :
The other effort I got drawn into, apart from editing the wiki, was the setting up of SkypeOut and SkypeIn accounts to connect the team with those on the ground. So that real-time information flows are enabled. I suspect a first really. The team was working with Saturn ham radio operators to queue and relay calls for help from around Tulane, and with volunteers in ER and other Emergency services. There volunteers on the ground are connecting with those who need help. And relaying requests for help. Also, we are getting messages for help and we relay these messages back to volunteers on the ground. Using SkypeIn, SkypeOut and sms to Skype. This is being coordinated by Angelo, Rudi and AnnaLissa. Despite initial hitches, with too many of us logging into the system, and some of us using older versions of Skype .... the system works ... and we will take it on in shifts, logging in from Amsterdam, USA, Bahrain and India to cover a 24 hour day.
And our first success there, as Angelo reports:
SkypeJournal was really helpful with this ... first by listening to our needs, then advising us on how we go about it, blogging our story and setting out a broader vision, and finally by holding our hand through the setup. And Jaanus at Skype jumped in when he read their post on our needs, offering up free SkypeOut minutes. Connectotel's Marcus Williamson is setting up a Skype-to-SMS bridge for KatrinaHelp too.
Rudi, who is one of those leading this effort, had a chat with me and shared his larger vision for a sustainable community system:
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