911 Service (beta)

    Professors Ben Shneiderman and Jennifer Preece of the University of Maryland have published in Science Magazine an interesting idea for a new social service that, with the help of a user community, will help emergency services cope with disasters and natural disasters.

    Wherever disaster strikes, in rich New Orleans or in poor Indonesian villages, professional rescue services and the military often cannot handle the consequences on their own. And then volunteers come to their aid, who, if properly organized, can make a significant contribution to the common cause.

    But the right organization is just becoming a problem. Many people would like to help with something, for example, to share valuable information, but they cannot do it because the public relations services are loaded above the roof. So why not apply here the well-established methodology of self-organizing communities that use mobile communications and the Internet in their work?

    The resource proposed by Schneiderman and Pryce, spending a budget not much larger than that of a regular city telephone center 911, should become a place where you can report an incident at any time and provide useful information about it (including photos and videos ), get the advice of specialists or simply knowledgeable people, collect volunteers, quickly transfer donations to the fund of victims, etc.

    With the support of Internet providers and mobile operators, you can make using the site completely free, like calling emergency numbers all over the world.

    The main difficulty, according to the authors of the project, will be to weed out false hooligan messages. To do this, they suggest introducing mandatory registration on the site. The path is risky, because it is known that the more rules and barriers, the less activity the members of the social network.

    The pilot project is scheduled to be launched before the end of the year.

    Also popular now: