Philippine Tech People First Responders Community

Philippine Tech People First Responders Community

San Francisco-based Geeklist Inc. is a tech company that develops social communication tools for developers and those who wish to hire them. It offers, an achievement-based social portfolio builder for developers to communicate and build their credibility. CEO and co-founder Reuben Katz is the original badass entrepreneur, hustler and visionary. He’s built countless brands and businesses and is an active investor in technology and education. Notably, during the first bubble he founded, built and sold, the Amazon of Books in Spanish.

Geeklist is touted to be the worlds biggest social network for the tech developers, with 54% of its users based in the U.S. and 46% from 194 different countries, including the Philippines. It hosts over 2,321 active tech communities where one may share relevant links, subscribe to updates, communicate with like-minded peers in a live feed, find events and share job listings.

One of the Geeklist communities involves a national call for help from the information and communications technology (ICT) sector of the Philippines, aptly labeled as the “First Responders Geeklist,” using the hashtag #hack4good. It aims to help people and animals in the way of the super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed, made landfall Friday morning in the Philippines and will affect many other regions.

If you are a developer, designer, NGO (non-profit organization) or a tech thinker, you can join the Hipchat Room for realtime chat with other likeminded tech geeks, discuss using the idea topics listed below, and leave a comment if you’re interested in working on one – teams will be forming in several waves throughout this coming Friday. The call for help also asks that if you have resources already available to help or sites to donate, to include these in the Comments on the “Brainstorm” card.

The idea topics created that have been created by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office are:

Relief Coordination #ReliefPH – From the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. An easy-to-use, automated platform to determine real time what donations are needed and where would be a great help during times of crisis. Groups and even individuals could coordinate with the government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development, which handles the logistics of evacuation centers, to cut through the muddle and provide fast and efficient relief.

Official Updates – From the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. Aside from’s Typhoon Yolanda crisis-response page and the NDRRMC website, all updated manually, there is no one application or website that collates the most important/recent updates from official government accounts.

Class Suspensions #walangpasok – From the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. Collating class and work suspensions during storms and other calamities are done via hashtag, #walangpasok (“no classes”), which is monitored by members of the media, and government and private organizations which then create separate independent lists of class suspensions, which are collated added manually. A way of automating this process would be very helpful.

Idea topics by others include:

Disaster Solutions App Finder – Select problems being faced and find the apps to solve it. A listing app that rapidly finds and deploys in your phone apps you may need or can use during disaster recovery, relief or funding/donations.

Brainstorm: Helping Philippines during #Yolanda [#Haiyan] – Please add comments with any ideas, resources, or updates that will help bring relief to the people currently suffering from Typhoon Haiyan.

Survivor Check-in – An app to quickly search for survivors or check-in as one.

Rescue Coordination #RescuePH – Online assistance for rescue efforts have centered around the use of the hashtag #RescuePH and, wherein volunteers manually monitor the feeds for calls for rescue. Resource:

P2P Messaging Board – This messaging board is already used in Japan during disasters which can send messages from phones to tell rescue teams or their families their safety conditions. Android itself has Wi-Fi Direct which can used to create ad-hoc network. We can design an app that sends the message to the nearby people if the Internet is down. If OK, promoting existing apps is also viable option, or we can have an enhancement that send the message to the messaging server if Internet is reachable.

Typhoon Tracking in Real Time – If possible to get the data of typhoons current location, a visualisation can be done to show the current location of the typhoon and the distance of typhoon from a person’s current location.

Real Time / Crowd Sourced Info Collection Site – A place online for people experiencing the disaster to post info and photos in real time so the rest of the world can follow along as its happening. Maybe this can be as simple as a Twitter and Instagram aggregate, or maybe it can be more in-depth?

Wi-Fi Tethering as a way of delivering SOS – Since Wi-Fi Tethering is a function that every smartphone have, sending SOS in SSID for those buried inside seems like a viable solution.

Finding safe routes – Some routes might not be accessible, using data acquisition techniques as google uses for its traffic mapping we can find out, in real time, which routes the victim can take. An example of this app would be like trapster, which gives data on police speed traps.

Raise Awareness by engaging writers using Multi-User WordPress – Raise awareness by facilitating (ideally) continuous content development, using a multi-user WordPress site, and an eye on the Timezones. A small group of us could rapidly design (important for virility of content) and deploy (probably actually the easier part) a multi-user WordPress content management system (BuddyPress, Admins?). A WordPress as a service tool may or may not be easiest, depending on the team’s skill set.

Facebook Appeal for Charity – A Facebook optimised app where people give money to the appeal and then pass it on to 5 friends, as well as post it to their timeline. It could work with a charity like the RedCross that is making a big impact, or a smaller local charity.

Raising and Amplifying Children’s Voices after Disaster – By Matt Crook, Web and Social Media Editor for @PlanAsia, The challenge: How do we raise the voices of those children who have been affected? How do we tell their story, in their words, the way they want? What’s next? Children using technology and social media to have their say and be heard by people around the world.

Area-Based Relief Coordination – Anyone can post if they either need help, or if they wish to give help, along with an optional location. The given coordinates are then grouped into specific areas: regions, provinces, cities, etc. Needs can be categorized: medical, housing, food, etc. Volunteering and Relief resources can be categorized: donations, physical help, food, other resources, etc. This will allow rescue and relief efforts to make more informed decisions about where they are needed most.

Needs List for Evacuation Centers – An app where people in the evacuation centers can post what they need help with.

Ham4Net Info Distro – To help ease newsblackout to affected areas in Tacloban this project will contact the Philippine Amateur Radio Assoc. (PARA) to help us connect Ham Radio people on the ground of Leyte and Samar and publish their feeds online.


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