Early, early this morning (or late, late last night depending on the nearest coast), a website I’ve been waiting for for some time finally went live.
CrisisWire.com is the brainchild of Nate Ritter, a social media programmer and evangelist who I first learned about during the San Diego County wildfires last fall. Using Twitter and Google Maps, Nate was a one man font of information, aggregating everything on the web tagged with a “hash tag” (his invention, btw) related to the fires.
With CrisisWire.com, he’s automated the process. The site continuously searches the Internet for any and all hash tags it’s been programmed to look for and auto-populates a page with a dynamic map, news stories, blog posts, YouTube clips, and pictures from Flickr. Each crisis gets it’s own page and grow independently.
The system got its first test within a few hours of going live when the Tea wildfire ripped through Santa Barbara County. Originally intended to go live for The Great Shakeout exercise, Nate had to create a new page dedicated the fire and hope the site worked as it was supposed to.
How many times has real life imposed during exercises to you? Welcome to disaster management, Nate.
If you get a chance today, stop by CrisisWire.com and stress his servers some more. Good luck, Nate!
Image credit: lbl.gov
UPDATE: See comments for clarification on some things that I got wrong from the man, the mystery, Mr. Nate Ritter.