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Start Volunteering To Help Pakistan In Minutes, No Blood Or Money Required

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, September 26 2013

Last week, when I interviewed Patrick Meier about his new digital humanitarian project MicroMappers, he said that they could be up and running the next day, if necessary. After an earthquake shook Pakistan on Tuesday, killing more than 300 people, the United Nations requested that they do just that. Now you—yes you!—can sign up and volunteer for disaster relief in minutes—no blood or money required!

This is how you can help.

Go the the TweetClicker and hit the 'Start Contributing Now!' button.

If you want to keep track of your contributions, sign in with Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

Then start tagging tweets as 'Not English,' 'Needs / Requests for Help,' Infrastructure Damage,' and 'Other/Skip.' This will help the U.N. sort the useful tweets, that include requests for help or report infrastructure damage, from the useless tweets.

You can see the dent you're making in the right hand corner, where it keeps track (if you're signed in) of the number of tweets you've tagged (out of, at the moment, 22,660).

If you've signed in, crowdcrafting will track your rank out of all the other digital humanitarian volunteers.

Volunteering feels a bit like when you play Free Rice, except with less of a game component. Reading the tweets is a bit voyeuristic, and I imagine it could be difficult to handle if particularly graphic or emotional information is shared.

That said, out of the 35 or so tweets I just tagged, not a one had useful information. Still, eliminating the useless tweets is just as important as finding ones with solid information.

Check it out for yourself, sign up and tag a few tweets just to try it. It's the kind of thing where even a five minute contribution could be worthwhile.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network and the UN Foundation for their generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.