Computer People: Let's Solve a Problem for Katrina Victims
I am reposting as a diary to make sure the word gets out.
The people who created DeanSpace and are now known as CivicSpaceLabs, have been working with Radical Designs to use the content management platform Drupal with the grassroots organizing tools of CivicSpace and the peoplefinder features of CiviCRM to help people track any missing friends or relatives.
After the jump is Kieran Lal's email :
Disaster Relief Help Needed: CiviCRM deploys people finder on CivicSpace site last night
Hello, yesterday afternoon we were contacted to help with the New Orleans Relief effort. We worked with Radical Designs who were managing the project and requested help from you. We got two volunteers from the CS community. We learned that they needed an organizing platform to help with finding missing persons. We agreed that CiviCRM which is already integrated with CivicSpace was the platform to use for creating a missing persons site. The CiviCRM stayed up late and modified CiviCRM to meet the needs.
It's up and running now. This wouldn't have been possible with out a dedicated community that has spent months building this platform and creating an open collaborative community. Take a moment to pat yourselves on the back.
Here is the current situation according to David Geilhufe:
"Missing persons data is scattered all over the web, much of it in an unstructured format. Rather than have refugees search across hundreds of message boards to find someone, we want to try to populate peoplefinder with as many missing and found people as possible as soon as possible. This would be a good old fashioned community organizing effort on the web... people can go to the various message boards and other listings and start entering that information into the people finder. I figure a couple thousand people, a couple of hours each and enter more than enough information to make the people finder highly useful.
But we need more help:
(1) Internet organizers that can help plan for how we are going to notify and coordinate once the technology is live.
(2) Technology folks that can write programs that will collect structured data on the web (CNN, tabular data, etc) so we can dump it into our database."
Please help out, if you are able.
Please help in whatever way you can. If you don't know anything about software development, you can still post this on your blogs (if you have one) or cut and paste the email and send it to friends that might be able to help.
And as always, a few bucks out of your pocket can help keep open-source, free software initiatives like Drupal and CivicSpace going for a long time.
Please, donate however you can : free tech work, community outreach, word-of-mouth or plain or bucks and cents.