In my last post, I wrote about the latest highly localized, universally accessible data source, otherwise known as the hipster style blog- Styleblaster. That post got me thinking- what does it tell us other than fashion? With the power out in Manhattan, my internet down in Brooklyn, I wanted to let friends and family know I’m fine. So I wrote it on a sign, walked in front of the camera, and voila- my message went out to the world.
Then my friend, Luke, said that he was waiting to hear from his brother, Oliver, who was evacuated from his NYU dorm last night. The power is out and his phone is dead. No doubt Oliver is in a gym eating cookies and playing cards, but Luke still wanted to know where he was. So we sent Oliver a message over Styleblaster- telling him to call home and come stay in Brooklyn. Maybe Oliver won’t get it, but someone else will and he’ll know that his family is trying to get in touch.
Tweeked, the Styleblaster data model could really provide an opportunity for FEMA. To begin with, the location is constant- it is always one spot on N. 7th between Driggs and Roebling. The time is always clearly marked on the photos, and the shots are taken in sequential order and correspondingly numbered. It tells the world the where and the when.
The subject can then send out whatever message they want- even if it is just saying “Here I am, I’m okay.”
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