[This post is an excerpt from the PeckoPivo blog. The project below received the “Special award for activism on the Internet” at Web Fest 2010 as well as the “IT Globe 2010”, an annual award for outstanding achievements in informatics, awarded by the "Micro-PC World" magazine. Congratulations to the team!]
There was a quite a strong earthquake in Serbia [last month] with an epicenter near city of Kraljevo in Central Serbia. Local and National Governments started the standard procedures for these types of crisis and the TV news were pretty much the same – everything will be all right, we are doing all we can etc etc.
But, unlike earlier, people are not easy to fool in times of twitter and other real time communication channels. In a matter of minutes after the earthquake we knew where the epicenter is and in matter of hours we had so much information shared via twitter that watching TV felt like watching last month news.
Right away, some people went to Kraljevo to volunteer and sent info that there is no serious organization whatsoever in the city and something needs to be done. Again, a couple of great enthusiasts thought that waiting for the government to do something is like “Waiting for Godot” and in just a couple of days they built www.jazakraljevo.rs (Me for Kraljevo). The website is built on Ushahidi platform which “allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline”.
The website is already recognized as unofficial Crisis HQ as it offers an easy way to submit data about each and every house/building affected and offers a clear image of what needs to be done to the wider public. All information submitted is, of course, been checked and confirmed by an official crisis HQ in Kraljevo.