November 2008

Why all the hubbub over CrisisWire? Check out this excerpt from Nate Ritter’s blog, explaining the purpose behind their well-considered plan:

“During a disaster people spend valuable time searching the internet and waiting for the media to report on their city, their neighborhood, their street. While main stream media serves a vital role during disasters, it is impossible to update the population on everything that is happening during a crisis. There usually isn’t enough time or resources. CrisisWire not only uses the traditional media outlets’ valuable information but will also utilize citizen journalists and Google maps to track the disaster. (videos), (photos) and a whole host of other types of published media will also soon be integrated.

Along with the website, CrisisWire will soon utilize text messages to get information to people that have lost their electricity, internet, or been displaced from their home. So no matter where someone is, they can be receiving invaluable information about shelters, road closures and other dangers.

Our hope is that CrisisWire will change the way people respond and learn about disasters.” (


Drum roll please… has arrived!

CrisisWire tracks disasters, consolidates data from all available sources (including tweets, photos, video, etc.) and provides real-time information to the people who need it, fast! Right now the site covers Yorba Linda/Corona/Brea, Sylmar, Santa Barbara, (and just added: Indonesia).

It looks like they plan to keep adding more to the site over the coming weeks. There’s also a feedback option on the far left to share your thoughts, ideas and recommendations. Let them know what you think!

On another note, CrisisWire has also provided a service & support tool that looks interesting, hosted by

I first learned about CrisisWire when I came across the tweets and blogs of one Nate Ritter. (If you haven’t heard about Nate before, he’s the savvy social networker who played the one-man band back in 2007 during the San Diego fires, providing real-time data for over 11 consecutive hours when news media went down and there were few sources available: San Diego Fires.)

I was very happy to learn that Nate and his team were working on a way to aggregate all the fragmented real-time disaster threads and data into one usable source. What you need available right when you need it, whether you find yourself part of the disaster or you have friends or family in the danger zone. CrisisWire, at last.

Another simulated disaster strike in twitterland; this one is labeled: #shakeout, and extends far beyond the world of tweets.

The experiment: What would happen if a 7.8 quake hits Southern CA?

We never know what kind of a day a person has had, or what they might be going through. Taking the moment to speak a kindness, or to harness a less than kind impulse, can make such a difference.

We had a death in the family recently. I don’t want to dwell on that, but I do hope I can get back to more regular updates soon. May you and yours be well.