Tag: drumbeat


Mozilla Drumbeat Festival of Learning, Freedom and the Web

What a month! I’ve been doing some blogging about the Mozilla Drumbeat’s Festival of Learning, Freedom and the Web:

On the Crisis Commons Blog
Community starts with volunteers. CrisisCommons and all the CrisisCamps have been on a massive journey exploring collaboration, crowdsourcing and volunteer technical communities for disaster and crisis response

This path has also lead me to participatory learning and task turking for volunteer technical communities. I am excited to hear about the Mozilla’s Mozilla’s Learning, Freedom and the Web Festival. It will gather teachers, learners and technologists from around the world who are at the heart of this revolution. There will workshops and sessions all about participatory learning and badges. People like Cathy Davidson, Duke University professor and proponent of Open Learning, will be running sessions on storming learning. The Open Video Alliance team will also be attending. What if we had HTML5 videos as training materials to help volunteers learn and create at the same time? Endless.

On Mozilla Drumbeat:
Cathy N. Davidson is the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English at Duke University and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. She is also the co-founder of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory). Pronounced “haystack”: it is an international network of educators and digital visionaries committed to the creative development and critical understanding of new technologies in life, learning, and society.

In a few short weeks, I will be in Barcelona learning, playing and exploring with the Drumbeat team. More on that in another post.



Learning Open Governance

I’m on an adventure to learn more about open governance for communities. For the past 10 months, I’ve volunteered with many amazing people to build CrisisCommons. We are a new volunteer technical community aimed at helping crowdsource information and technology in times of crisis. Learning and researching practices for open communities has brought me near and far talking with technical communities such as Mozilla or my peers who attended the International Conference on Crisis Mapping. I’ve spoken with experts at Creative Commons and with consultant David Eaves. As a co-lead for the CrisisCommons.org Community Working Group, I consider it a priority to learn about community governance.

Fortunately, I found and enrolled in the Peer-to-Peer University (P2PU) Open Governance course. We collaborate online and learn from each other. In the coming weeks, I will be posting items for the course.

What do Baboons, transgenders, and bent fox ears have in common with Open Governance of Communities?

Our first week’s assignment was to write about Radiolab’s podcast: New Normal? The show seeks to identify change triggers in communities. Using two separate scientific studies, they pose the question that a baboon troupe and a breed of foxes can change with alterations to patterns resulting in culling aggressive creatures. Another example talks about the town of Silvertown, Oregon accepting a gradual change of a transgender resident. “Under the right circumstances, a small town can change.” What can trigger change in a community?

What are some of the norms in communities you are a participant in that affect governance of that community?
CrisisCommons is just beginning to formalize our strategic governance. It is both flexible and fragile. As an open community we respond to governance questions via our CrisisCommons google group. There is also a wiki open for edits.

The norm is that there is no norm yet. Anyone can contribute and the decisions are in flux.

The same stands for CrisisCamps. We have some model examples to share. We are working on CrisisCamp in a Box – a project to help mentor and share camp standards. Again, the norm is that all content is open for discussion and change.

How are these norms communicated to new joiners?
We need to work how to communicate norms to new joiners. Our community culture is evolving with each response action. We try to mentor new CrisisCamp cities. When it comes to individual volunteers, we need to improve on communicating norms and facilitating volunteer experiences.

How important is it to explicitly state the norms? How much can be picked up from “observing”?
We know that standards would help our community, but too much structure might not be accepted. There is a balance yet to be struck between more governance and less governance proponents. CrisisCommons needs to set a minimum frame of what and when we will respond and vice versa. This discussion is ongoing, but we know that clarity will help us grow.

Observing norms? Well, our community is evolving fast. I actually find this question hard. We need to make it more stable and clear so that there is potential for a volunteer to be able to “observe norms”. I consider that a 6 month goal for our community.

: Radiolab is partially funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. CrisisCommons is currently preparing our trustee proposal for the same organization. Small world.


Mozilla’s Learning Freedom and the Web Festival, Barcelona

The Internet is revolutionizing how we learn. It’s exciting. And it’s only the beginning. Mozilla’s Learning, Freedom and the Web Festival will gather teachers, learners and technologists from around the world who are at the heart of this revolution.


Taking place Barcelona from November 3-5, we’re planning three days of making, teaching, hacking, inventing and shaping the future of education and the web. We want you to be a part of it. Register.

Whether your a teacher or a technologist, this is your chance to help shape the future of learning and the web. We hope to see you in Barcelona.

If you are able to jet to Barcelona, we could use a hand with promotion. Have a moment? Please help us spread the word on your blog, Facebook or Twitter.

Be inspired by Joi Ito:

Joi Ito on (informal) learning, freedom and the web from Henrik Moltke on Vimeo.


Crowdsourcing Communities attempt to aid Pakistan

Crowdsourcing during a Crisis is evolving. Here are some of the amazing activities that you can volunteer your knowledge and technical skills to help manage information, maps, and development. We may not save people and the geopolitical situation is very uncertain, however, using our skills may make a difference. If not today, then someday.

Reading articles about the plight in Pakistan from the Telegraph (UK) really provide some context. The UN and World Bank are also providing great communications about their activities.

Think of these activities as modeling: ASCII art evolved to HD Games. Each layer of knowledge, development and information that we collaborate and crowdsource can build a new future of aid. Maybe, just, maybe we might be able to help someone now. This motivates us all to try.

Crowdsourcing with tools to CrisisCamp, Map, Wiki, Tweet, Sahana, Google and more

Join a virtual CrisisCamp

CrisisCommons is a global network of volunteers who help people in times and places of crisis. If you can use the Internet, a word processor, a cell phone or any other kind of technology, you can help. Right now virtually online or during one of our many CrisisCamps around the world!

CrisisCamp Cambridge and CrisisCamp London had their first CrisisCamp last weekend. They continue to spearhead efforts. There are talks about France and Australia. Folks from Canada and the US have been supporting our UK friends. CrisisCamp Calgary and CrisisCamp Montreal have also been fully engaged for the past two weeks.

CrisisCamp – Pakistan 2010 Floods


Mappers are waiting for Hi-res satellite maps of the affected regions. Folks are using existing maps, SMS notifications and amazing innovation.


Ushahidi wrote a great blog post on how to crowdmap and the situation in Pakistan.

If you want to learn more, join the CrisisMappers googleggroups or OpenStreetMap Forums. (OpenStreetMap’s Humanitarian OSM Team investigating a response). The mailing lists are very noisy, but the discussions about open source, humanitarian aid, “do no harm”, collaboration and more are very engaging.


Two great efforts to manage information with wiki:

(There is some talk about merging CrisisWiki and Pakistan.wikia.)


The Twitter hashtag is #pkfloods. Search #pkfloods and you will find a wealth of information and calls to action. Many of the organizations mentioned in this post are using twitter for volunteer outreach, education, and mapping reports.

NEW: CrisisCamp Paris set up a live tweet/liveblog for #PKfloods:

Live Tweet/Liveblog from Canalblog
Ch16.org combines tweets, blogs etc
Tweak the Tweet from University of Colorado focuses on refining the signal to noise ratio with veracity during crisis response. They are an amazing group.

Learn how to use Twitter to help manage crisisdata.


Sahana is a open source disaster management system. It is a web based collaboration tool that addresses the common coordination problems during a disaster from finding missing people, managing aid, managing volunteers, tracking camps effectively between Government groups, the civil society (NGOs) and the victims themselves.

They have set up an instance
A new SitRep module has been built to manage:
* Flood Reports
* Assessments from World Food Program
* School Reports

Sahana is looking for data entry and Python help.


Google’s Crisis Response Team has released Person Finder and Resource Finder to provide help.

And more Social Media and Information Volunteering


Wouldn’t it be great if there was a YouTube channel dedicated Pakistan? It would be amazing if there was a channel dedicated to the humanitarian groups and their story to help. What about the diaspora in Canada, US, UK, and around the world?

Add any video links to the Crisis Commons wiki and please tweet them out with the #pkfloods tag.


Understanding Pakistan, her history and her people is really paramount. Knowledge is power.. I am looking for the best links on Pakistan to share with all the communities. Help us learn.

Add these to the Crisis Commons wiki and please tweet them out with the #pkfloods tag.


Please blog, tweet, map and wiki to collaborate. Every voice and action can count. Every volunteer can help with a computer. Maybe you will inspire someone else to volunteer.

My inbox is full and I am so proud to be engaged with such bright people. Unfortunately, I’m focused on a personal project and don’t have the bandwidth to create a CrisisCamp Pakistan right now. I would spend every waking hour doing all of the above. I can however blog and spread the word.

Change the world: You can too!

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