URGENT! Haiti Emergency Communications

Our Mission 15 Jan 2010: IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE: HELPING HAITI: We are launching an effort for tailoring Tweet messages to help with management of information production for the Haiti disaster. See here for details. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/epiccolorado Project EPIC, which launched in September 2009, is supported by a $2.8M grant from the US National Science Foundation. It is multi-disciplinary, multi-university, multi-lingual research effort to support the information needs by members of the public during times of mass emergency. In this age of social media, we bring our behavioral and technical knowledge of “computer mediated communication” to the world of crisis studies and emergency response. As researchers, we are committed to careful study of socio-technical transformation and building human-centered computation. In addition to empirical observational study that requires new ways of studying massive “widescale” coordination across the internet, we conduct “action research” and employ “participatory design” oriented approaches. We aim to look beyond today’s state of the art and anticipate future socio-technical change. Who We Are We are information scientists, computer scientists and computational linguists at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of California, Irvine. We specialize in societal transformation in conjunction with technology use; computer-mediated communication studies; software engineering and architectures; information security; network security and computational linguistics with a deep commitment to understanding the domains for which we design and study.

HELPING HAITI: Tweak the Tweet January 14, 2010 Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/epiccolorado Our team and collaborators are proposing a Tweet-friendly hashtag-based syntax to help direct Twitter communications for more efficient data extraction for those communicating about the Haiti earthquake disaster.

Use only requires modifications of Tweet messages to make information pieces that refer to #location, #status, #needs, #damage and several other elements of emergency communications more machine parsable.

PLEASE HELP US PROPAGATE THIS TWITTER GRAMMAR ACROSS THE NET! Read on for immediate simulated life examples, instructions for deployment, and the initial tag folksonomy for the Haiti disaster. We welcome assistance in language translation for on-the-ground use when that becomes possible, and international deployment. Tweet Examples In Use:

EXAMPLE1: #haiti #imok #name John Doe #loc Mirebalais Shelter #status minor injuries EXAMPLE2: #haiti #need #transport #loc Jacmel #num 10 #info medical volunteers looking for big boat to transport to PAP EXAMPLE3: #haiti #need #translator #contact @pierrecote EXAMPLE4: #haiti #ruok #name Camelia Siquineau #loc Hotel Montana EXAMPLE5: #haiti #ruok #name Raymonde Lafrotune #loc Delmas 3, Rue Menelas #1 EXAMPLE6: #haiti #offering #volunteers #translators #loc Florida #contact @FranceGlobal Mission/Instructions for a Two-Pronged Deployment: 1) Promote grammar through available digital communication channels to get immediate pick-up by people, including those who are affected, emergency personnel, and—perhaps most usefully for immediate use—volunteers To this end, please send out prescriptive examples, such as these:

#haiti pls tweet in the format: #haiti #ruok #name [first last] #loc [location] #contact [@ or #] #haiti pls tweet in the format: #haiti #imok #name [first last] #loc [location] #status [status] #contact [@ or #] #haiti pls tweet in the format: #haiti #need #medical #loc [location] #num #haiti pls tweet in the format: #haiti #offering #shelter #loc [address] #num [amount] #contact [@ or #] #haiti pls use these 1st hashtags: #imok, #ruok, #offering, #need, #damage, #status #haiti pls use these 2nd hashtags: #food #water #shelter #transport #volunteers #translators #fuel #information #haiti pls use these data hashtags: #name [first last] #loc [address, intersection] #num [amount] #contact [@ or #] #haiti pls use these end hashtags: #status [status info] #info [more information, comment]

 The information produced by the syntax will be available for anyone to search and process–no one single source is monitoring the tweets by prearrangement. Volunteers can write programs, scripts, web apps to process this publicly available information into new information resources, possibly web applications or tweet feeds that re-distribute processed info. Please contact us to let us know what you know is happening, and we can help spread the word.

Tags PRIMARY TAG #need #offering #status #imok #ruok #damage #injured #road ….. SECONDARY TAG Need/Offering Descriptor Tags #food #water #fuel #medical of #med #shelter #transport #volunteers… can shorten to #vols #translator #financial or #money #information or #info #supplies [list specific supplies needed] ….. Data tags #name [name] #loc [location] #num [amount or capacity] #contact [email, phone, link, other] #photo [link to photo] #source

[/source]

#info [other information] Overall order is not as important as tag-descriptor connection. Prescriptive Examples: #haiti #ruok #name [first last] #loc [location, address, or intersection] #contact [email or phone #] #haiti #imok #name [first last] #loc [location, address, or intersection] #status [status] #contact [@ or #] #haiti #need #medical #loc [location, address, or intersection] #status [status] #num [number or capacity] #haiti #need #transport #loc [address] #num [amount] #contact [@ or #] #info [more description] #haiti #need #volunteers #medical #loc [address] #num [amount] #contact [@ or #] #info [more description] #haiti #need #transport #loc [address] #loc [address] #num [amount] #info [more description] #haiti #offering #shelter #loc [address] #num [amount] #contact [@ or #] #haiti #road #loc [location of road closure]i #status closed

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