Entries in online community (1)


Web community of developer volunteers steps in to support USG and NGO efforts in Haiti

The evolution of CrisisCommons just over the past week or so is an amazing example of how much a distributed online community can produce when united behind a common cause. A quick glance at the site reveals 7 new projects in addition to the 11 on-going and released projects, all developed by hundreds of techies across 12 cities in less than 2 weeks.

CrisisCommons co-founder Noel Dickover explains:

"We are witnessing the development of a transformational change in how an average citizen can participate in the crisis response effort. Previously you could only send money.  Now, you can directly help in the response. An existing social network of national and international first responders, web 2.0 developers, and NGOs had been established, so the immediate response was just a matter of galvanizing existing relationships."

And to those who doubt the value to the Haiti relief effort of techies creating apps and other IT projects for the field: my Department of Defense client called me earlier this week looking for development assistance for a situational awareness capability that the DoD sought to implement in Haiti. I found Noel on Twitter, put him in touch with client, and now CrisisCommons has a top notch team of developers working directly on the project. This all happened within 2 days. I believe this process, created by Noel, Andrew Turner and the hundreds of CrisisCamp volunteers, is creating an entirely new value stream for relief efforts, delivering major impact.