I hadn’t heard of Ushahidi until the humanitarian crisis in Haiti began to unfold. Ushahidi means “testimony” in Swahili. As I learned more about the open-source citizen journalism platform, I added the link/button for Ushahidi’s Haiti page at the top of this site’s sidebar [update 060910: nowat the bottom of this post]. When you follow the link you will find an amazing mashup of many information streams pouring out of Haiti via the Real-Time Web.
The photo above shows some of the people behind this remarkable crowd-sourcing effort: six members of Ushahidi’s Kenyan team working in an “ad hoc situation room” – a.k.a. a coffee shop in Nairobi (via @ushahidi on Twitter). The Ushahidi blog gives some background about how the work is going:
Since the site went live, the team has been working round the clock to make improvements to the instance, fix problems (our server has crashed several times already and our alert system went beserk!), coordinate efforts with volunteers, share information with partners, and collaborate with other tech-based efforts e.g. the people finder at Haitian quake (since merged with Google’s). The fact that we have a global team means that we have been able to offer round the clock support, with the Africa-based team taking over when the US-based team goes to sleep and vice versa. Read more.