Join me at CrisisCamp Boston on January 19-20

I’m working on reinvigorating CrisisCamp Boston by organizing a series of 2013 hackathons! The first will be next weekend at the MIT Media Lab. Click here for more info and registration.

I’ll be continuing work with the InnCrisis team on the donation collection app we started at the last CrisisCampBoston as well as the meta-project of organizing more CrisisCamps.

Even if you’re not able to join us, you can follow our activity online. Connect with us on Twitter @CrisisCampBOS, Facebook, and our Google Group.

If you know anyone in Boston with experience in web development, crisis response, or who are just rockstars in general, pass this information along and let them know we could use their help!

CrisisCamp Boston and developing an app: InnCrisis

Last weekend I attended CrisisCamp Boston organized by the Hurricane Hackers out of the MIT Media Lab. I went primarily to work on the meta-community organizing stuff (as is my custom) but also ended up working on a crisis response app with some really cool peeps.

Before I get to that, a few links.

Many of you know that I use Evernote for absolutely everything.. but this was the first event where I experimented with publishing my personal notes as a means of public engagement. I found this really helpful for both communicating with collaborators as well as keeping my head on straight. My notes: http://j.mp/sandyboston

I ended up on video for this blog post. (I still find it awkward seeing myself on video.)

I was asked to follow up with a blog post on the Hurricane Hackers blog talking about how havingĀ  CrisisCamp events can help build disaster preparedness. I found the Occupy movement’s Occupy Sandy efforts to be especially inspiring, so I used them as a case study.

And now, onto the app!

Last weekend the NYC Office of Emergency Management put in a request for a hotel availability platform to streamline the process of sheltering people displaced by disasters like hurricane Sandy. A bunch of us naturally gravitated toward this project, and off we went!

We encountered a number of challenges (technical, legal, etc) along the way, and a few conceptual shifts.. but we ultimately decided on an app that:

  1. collects donations
  2. searches for hotel room availability with filters such as low cost
  3. enables hotel room booking using donations

We call it InnCrisis. Rather than deploying this app ourselves, we intend for InnCrisis to be a white label application that can be deployed by aid organizations to augment their existing placement efforts for people suddenly in need of shelter.

This app will be made possible by mashing up a few 3rd party API’s:

  • Kinvey as the app’s backbone
  • WePay for collecting donations
  • A hotel search and booking API. We’re currently looking at Cleartrip and Expedia‘s API offerings.

Over the course of the day, we were able to prototype the donation portion of the app. Here’s a video of Ryan Kahn presenting InnCrisis at the end of CrisisCamp Boston.

BlogĀ  post with this video and additional notes at the Hurricane Hackers blog.

Ryan Kahn, Jonathan Wilde and I decided we want to continue working on this project, so we’re getting together today to discuss next steps.

If you’d like to track the progress of InnCrisis development, check out this google doc. And if you’re interested in helping out shoot me a tweet, or just start hacking away out our code on github.

Rebooting NetSquared Atlanta

NetSquared Atlanta American Cancer Society HostA few years back I used to organize a monthly meetup called NetSquared Atlanta which is an offshoot of Techsoup’s Net2local program. It went on for about a year and we had an absolutely wonderful host in the American Cancer Society.

There have been multiple attempts to start the group back up over the years but so far these attempts haven’t gelled.

So it’s time to try again!

My aim is to create a space where social change agents, techies and nonprofit professionals can come together and build an action network based on collaboration and innovation.

My plan is to organize three months of programming (August through October) and see where it goes from there.

I’m looking for co-organizers to get this off to a strong start, so shoot me a tweet @captaincalliope if you’re interested. And be don’t forget to join the NetSquared Atlanta meetup group!

NetSquared Atlanta Attendees Introduce Themselves

I’m collecting links relevant to organizing Net2local programming and Net2Atlanta events below.

About NetSquared

Net2local Community

Net2local Event Organizing

Net2Atlanta’s current web presence

Miscellaneous