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After Sandy, Are FEMA and the Red Cross Helpmates to Neighborhood Volunteers, Not Their Leaders?

BY Joe Maniscalco | Friday, November 16 2012

The Internet didn't create the outpouring of citizen-to-citizen care that has so often beaten traditional relief agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross to Hurricane Sandy-ravaged communities all over the tri-state area - but it certainly helped to channel it. The rise of grassroots organizing channeled through online resources in times of crisis has been so profound that FEMA and the Red Cross aren't even pretending they can do a better job than web-adept citizens groups like Occupy Sandy when it comes to immediately moving people or supplies - or even that they are supposed to. Read More

For Hurricane Sandy Relief, a Text-Messaging Solution

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, November 15 2012

In Hurricane Sandy's wake, many developers have come up with websites or applications created to help. But when volunteers are on the ground in hard-hit areas like the Rockaways section of New York City, they are often unable to access the Internet or use their mobile phones. A group of volunteers have responded to this challenge by developing Occupy SMS, a text-messaging tool for aid communication. Read More

In Red Hook, Mesh Network Connects Sandy Survivors Still Without Power

BY Becky Kazansky | Monday, November 12 2012

A Red Hook Houses resident accesses mesh network-provided wifi using a smartphone. Photo: Becky Kazansky / techPresident

Offered through Personal Democracy Plus: A mesh networking experiment in Brooklyn turned into an exercise in 21st-century disaster relief this weekend when an innovation fellow with the Federal Emergency Management Agency teamed up with neighborhood activists and tech volunteers to bring Internet access back to Red Hook Houses after Hurricane Sandy. Read More

Post-Sandy, Facebook, Change.org Show Rising Opposition to NYC Marathon This Sunday

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, November 2 2012

Has New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has steered his city in all kinds of admirable ways since Hurricane Sandy first appeared on the horizon a week ago, seriously misread the mood of his fellow Gothamites with his decision to let the annual New York City Marathon proceed as scheduled this Sunday? The race, which draws between 40,000 and 60,000 runners each year, is the largest in the world--and judging from some fast-moving page on Change.org and Facebook, many people are wondering if the usually uplifting event may put too heavy a burden on already strained and breaking city services. Read More

The Lights are #Flickering: Watching #Sandy on Trendsmap

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 29 2012

Screenshot of Trendsmap.com, 3:36pm ET

This one is self-explanatory. All up and down the East Coast, people are watching the lights start to go out as Hurricane Sandy takes out pieces of the electrical grid. Just search for uses of the word "flickering" on Twitter. It's not a hashtag but it's clear enough what it shows. On Trendsmap.com, you get the picture. Read More

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In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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