The Peg is In:

I wrote before about the power of the project and what it means to be able to spend time where we think it’s important. You might have guessed that article was a precursor – that I was hinting at something bigger and more specific. You were right.

The point is there’s a tribe of people who want change. It’s not a group of people. It’s not a crowd of people. Crowds are faceless and groups are leaderless. We’ve got both faces and leaders. Every one of the individuals who are helping to make CrisisWire a success are leaders. These people knew change was needed and stepped up to the plate.

What is CrisisWire?

Let’s start with the real issue. What’s the problem? Why all the passion?

The problem is that in an emergency people can’t find their way. We’ve been given massive power to publish anything we please. We, the public, used our ability to publish our concerns and troubles during all the natural and unnatural disasters that have taken place over the past few years. But it’s not always helping. That’s one problem.

The other problem is on the other side of this situation. In an emergency, the people who can help don’t know about our problems in the midst of it all.

But, people know that this is a problem. And our group (thanks to Refresh San Diego) has stood up to answer the call.

We’re building a media aggregator of emergency/disaster information from every source possible including tv, radio, blogs, micro-publishing, governmental sources, traditional media, publicly funded media, and more. Published on one page per disaster and then separated into neighborhoods where possible, this application could put the info into the hands of the people who need it most.

Tribe Highlight

Peggy Gartin

One of the crazy-awesome people on our team is Peggy Gartin. She’s the one with the awesome shoes and jokes being muttered under her breath to people sitting next to her in a serious meeting.

Peggy is a fantastic leader. She’s a fanatic about eliminating AIDS and supporting those who live with it. She has a craving to “use [her] superpowers for good”.

Peggy is like many of us. We all have our “zombie fiction” (that thing we geek out about in private). Peggy and her husband collect Simpson action figures and host the Simpsons Collector Sector BBQ every Comic-Con here in San Diego. See, she’s normal too.

She’s also a hard core public news geek too. She ran a corporate intranet for a Fortune 15 company for years. She became a news junkie while doing this to keep up on the goings on. Her thirst for well timed, well written, well read pieces makes her an advocate for the people in these emergencies who are searching anywhere and everywhere for important up to date news on their area and situation. It’s good to have her on our side.

The reason I’m telling you all of this about her is because Peggy is one of the many leaders we have on our CrisisWire project team. This isn’t a company. It’s a project. Projects require leaders. Projects that have more than one person in them require many leaders. Peggy is a perfect example of the kind of leadership mentality we’re blessed to have on this project.

Everyone has a different role to play. Everyone on our team is a leader. And we’re thankful for that. That’s what makes this a tribe. Not a group, not a crowd. A tribe.

Peggy joined CrisisWire to have a hand in creating a good, useful web app that spreads “like wildfire (bad pun fully intended)”.

We’re with her.

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

7 Comments on "The Peg is In:"

  1. Lach says:

    CrisisWire sounds awesome. There’s a dual challenge out there from the Public Information Officer perspective where we’re using the interwebs to publish sometime life-saving information, but we don’t know good ways to get it read. Proactive notification is only one small part of that, since often times those networks go down in a disaster situation, and since the scope of notification today is limited in many ways to 140 characters.

    Good job over there, it’s good to see that San Diego residents do more than sit on the beach in the 360 days of sun per year. :) I kid, I kid.

  2. Peggy Gartin says:

    I blush…and now people are stopping by my office just to look at my shoes (silver Ed Hardys…BA-BAAAAM!).

  3. Cheryl Canzona says:

    Peggy, you rock!

  4. John Quinn says:

    And Peggy’s an awesome friend too!!

  5. Glen Gorham says:

    Peg, I want to personally thank you and your “tribe” for this project. We get our info, news and entertainment here on the internets. As you know we live spittin’ distance from Camp Pendleton and last week when it was ablaze we couldn’t get boo for information. Last year when the whole county was on fire it was easy to get coverage (NPR and Twitter the best sources IMHO) This time up here in our neck of the hoods nothing! It was a bit spooky as it was quite close. It was like this: gather all the animals, search yahoo local news, get hard drives and computers packed up, check Google (yes in that order), get pictures and important documents together, check local internet news stations. There were no updates anywhere. Meanwhile I’ve got helicopters and air tankers buzzing my roof. Well it seems We’ll have all the information we need with you and your CrisisWire cronies on the caper. Thanks again! Hope to see you soon, Glen

  6. Peggy Gartin says:

    Thanks, Glen! You’ve captured the problem perfectly. Please do tune in to and once it’s active, send us feedback! We’ll be continually improving it and input from folks just like you and Beth will be invaluable.

  7. nate says:

    Additionally, we’ve now opened up so you can definitely give your feedback, ideas, advice and suggestions there too.

    We’d love to hear from you all.

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