Archive for August, 2008

Getting Involved in Gustav Online Volunteer Efforts

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

I was hoping to get through August without interrupting my self-imposed summer blogging siesta, but circumstances have changed. As you probably know by now, Hurricane Gustav is en route to the Gulf Coast, and thinks are looking pretty bad right now. Given all the work we did organizing online information in the hours after Hurricane Katrina struck three years ago, I figured it would be much more productive if we could get organized at least a couple of days before Hurricane Gustav came ashore.
Right now, I’m juggling a number of activities, and could use your help in both promoting and volunteering with content production.
For coordinating online volunteer efforts, I’ve set up a social network called the Gustav Information Center. I’m hoping it’ll work like Katrina Aftermath, with aggregations of content generated by the public, news orgs and govt agencies, but the social networking tools will allow us to use it as a place to coordinate volunteer activities – who’s working on what project, etc.
We’re also setting up a wiki called GustavWiki.com, built off the wiki we organized for Katrina. Essentially, we’ve taken all of the pages from the Katrina wiki and moved them to the new one, so the first thing we need volunteers for is going through each page and making sure all the info contained is accurate and relevant to Gustav. Please go to the wiki to-do list discussion on Ning if you want to volunteer as a page editor. If you want to edit a page someone else is working on, contact them through the wiki or Ning so you can coordinate directly with each other. Once the pages are verified, we can then concentrate on building new pages from scratch.
On Twitter, we have several new accounts running. GustavAlerts is already sending out official government notifications from a number of sources. GustavNews will feature news content, while GustavBlogs will feature blog discussions. They’re still being tweaked, though, so it may be a few hours before those two Twitter accounts are useful.
I’ll post updates as I can, but most of my activities will be in the Gustav Information Center, so please join the conversation there. -andy