Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lessons from San Diego Fire Alerting?

A great example of how messaging technologies are changing peoples capability of responding to external events. MobileMessaging2 shows how the state authorities are able to send out sms alerts to mobile phones on a geographical basis to alert people to the movement of fires in San Diego area. This is no small thing given that many of the networks tend to be jammed and thus near inoperable during crises times, as the first instinct for most people, is to phone loved ones. The piece also shows how individuals are using services such as twitter to keep each other updated directly about how things are going at the local or family unit level. The first solution is top down, and perhaps "official", the second is "edge, informal, and unofficial". By scanning the Twittersphere/ Jaikusphere for keywords, and geotags, the official central system could re-broadcast updates or advice around actions. Matching these two spheres could make for a compelling citizen action and co-ordination platform.

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