Jeremy Zilar is the Content Strategist and Blog Specialist at The New York Times where he has overseen the launch of over 200+ blogs and real-time news publishing.
This map was created using the Ushahidi open source software by students at Tulane University in conjunction with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and site host Radical Designs so that you, the citizens of the Gulf Coast have a voice to speak out in testimony of the how the Gulf oil spill is threatening your livelihoods and the ecosystems that you love and rely on. More about the group »
They also have a long list of other news and community resources that are pulling together updates and service announcements for all the communities that are affected by the spill.
So why is this so interesting?
Because it is a web recipe that has the possibility of gaining some real weight as it attempts to collect the news, information, and community service messages that make up the oil spill story as a whole. When I say web recipe, I mean it uses tools (an obsessive list of links + Ushahidi) that are being made available to anyone with basic web skills and the will to pull together the information.
The point at which we’ll know if their endeavors are fruitful will be when they have collected enough of the right information and news to generate a compelling experience of the whole story. I will be watching and encouraging, and I wish them all the best.
Ushahidi is a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, e-mail or a web site and visualize it on a map or timeline. Watch this short video on it.
It is nice to see the students at Tulane University putting it to the test.