Another great use of a wiki

The first two things people think of, when following breaking news is Twitter, or Google Alerts. No doubt about it, these are great.

Ever considered ‘following’ a Wiki?

I do it all the time, because I am the kind of person who’s not content with the echo-chamber headline stuff  (you know: “OMG there’s been a plane crash in…”)

Here’s a great Wiki on Haiti relief.  Maintained by the Open Street Map (OSM) Community.

Even if you’re interested not following the relief ops, and are just curious about how social media works in these extreme situations, wikis and maps are great. check it out. As we have begun to see, maps are being used more and more by media orgs and journalists to report on details of a story.

Quotes for the week ending 23 Jan, 2010

“We’ve got the Internet here at Signal, and it’s been a miracle that we’ve been able to stay on air … “Don’t ask me how we’ve managed to do that.”

Mario Viau, station director at SignalFM, in Port-au-Prince, which has been on the air and online since the earthquake struck..

“Because this is just a dirge. I’m ready to shut it off. And I’m sure there’s plenty other about to do the same.

Anonymous commenter on the Rolling Stone blog that live blogged the Hope For Haiti Now telethon. He went on to say that Live Aid “existed to raise money for a terrible epidemic. But the performances were more like a giant party. People were interested, and it was a huge success. This sad telethon will be immediately forgotten. And that’s a shame. Wasted opportunity.”

“Good attitude Mr. Anonymous. With a mindset like that nothing will ever happen.”

Someone going by the name of Jeff, responding to the above poster.

“We are experiencing an outage due to an extremely high number of whales.”

Message on the Twitter web site, supposedly after Haiti suffered aftershocks on Wednesday.

“It puts into the public domain every bit of information collected by public bodies that is not personal or sensitive, from alcohol-attributable mortality to years of life lost through TB. Happily, not all the data sets deal with death.”

Editorial in the Guardian, on the launch of new website,, which Tim Berners Lee ( and professor Nigel Shadbolt) served as advisors, on the request of Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

“News Corp. needs Google more than Google needs News Corp.”

Greg Patterson, attorney at Espresso Pundit, in Mike Sunnucks’s story on the battle eating up over the Fair Use Doctrine

“Yet, honest Abe and HAL9000, both had one thing in common. They conveniently applied a Heuristic theory as they were, in fact, the only one calling the shots.”

Steven Lowell, PR Manager, Voice 123, on why failure, and the ‘Heuristic Algorithm’ is a bad long-term solution.

Maping what’s happening in Haiti

Interesting how geomapping is taking off, as  interactive maps (and visualization) becomes a huge asset to crisis communications, journalism. You may recall how mapping was used for the Swine flu.

Now people can help map the relief operation in Haiti – at Ushahidi, a crowd-sourcing site I love to support.

It’s got links to video, news, pictures and ‘Todo’ lists. The site pulls together urgent need requests and status updates.

Like this desparate request:

@MelyMello @WFPlogistics so clos 2 airprt, can u help get help? 18°35’36.24″N, 72°16’40.37″W Othopedic clinic,needs narcotics,IV antibiotics,diesel,gas

Campaign to map Haiti

You can get involved via txt, email, hashtag. Details here:

Flickr shows its collaborative power in Haiti disaster

I talk of Collaboration as one of the 4 legs of social media. Usually I use positive examples such as Spot.Us and a host of other experiments.

But as the horrors of the scale of the disaster in Haiti stream in, through citizen journalists, there’s one site to keep watching: Flickr.

Check this Group Pool, where everyone on the ground with a camera of sorts is helping record the event, sharing their resources. Images such as this one will fill our screens and lives in the next few weeks, thanks to them.

A note of caution: Some of these can be disturbing.