Sunday, November 4, 2012

#NYTechResponds - Day 5 Update. #NYTechHelps

The following is cross-post of Remember we'll be posting less to this blog as we move the new site at Please go there FIRST for updates on #NYTechResponds and NYTM response to Sandy.

The hard work of Sandy recovery continues and so too does a surge in enthusiasm and cooperation as people from around the city, and around the world, work together to find ways to help those most impacted by the storm. The NYTM community, along with friends and fellow technologists from communities such as Hurricane Hackers and Crisis Commons, remain committed to doing everything we can to get NYC back on its feet. A couple of helpful tools and links to keep handy in this effort:
  • If you are a volunteer with technical skills, and would like to work on some of the technology related response, please let us know by filling out this form -
  • If you, your business, or non-profit organization are in need of specific technology related support to get back on your feet, use this form - Examples of help might include connectivity troubleshooting and restoration, database recovery, or help getting a POS system up and running again.
  • If you have an idea for a technology project – i.e., a new app, tool, platform to help in the recovery – or are already working on something, take a moment to enter it here This will help us to coordinate across developers and development teams, avoid duplicate efforts, and find additional opportunities for collaboration and re-use. As the immediate rescue efforts begin to wind down over the next week, we’ll be turning our attention to how we can help solve the long term problems those impacted by Sandy will face, while looking to create durable platforms to help us better recover next time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sandy Technology Project Intake

Working on a new technology app, platform, tool, etc. to help support #Sandy relief. Have an idea for one? Have a need for a technology tool to support your relief effort? ENTER IT HERE -

Also remember we'll be posting less to this blog as we move to the WordPress site we're using -- it's at Please go there FIRST for updates on #NYTechResponds and NYTM response to Sandy.

#OccupySandy Phone Hotline Center at 520 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn

Picture of the 520 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn Volunteer Location Phone Hotline Center

Volunteers - 520 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn #NYTechHelps

Today's focus for the NY Tech community is direct help of impacted communities and families. A number of people will be gathering at 520 Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn today at the The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew which will be used as central depot and organizational location for relief efforts. If you can, please stop by there, or other volunteer spots in the city, and HELP OUT.

Also remember we'll be starting to post less to this blog as we move to the WordPress site we're using -- it's at Please go there FIRST for updates on #NYTechResponds and NYTM response to Sandy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

New #NYTechResponds Site

In just over 48 hours, we've already outgrown this blogger site, and are moving our presence over to WordPress today. Going forward will redirect you to the new WordPress site. The DNS is being re-pointed now so if you're still getting sent to "old" blog, you can go directly to while the DNS change makes its way around the internet.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

#NYTechResponds Day 3 Wrap-Up: Hackthon, New Sites/Apps

Another productive day. Here are some updates.

We have received a number of e-mails, tweets, etc. expressing enthusiasm for a hackathon. 48 hours ago we targeted a Saturday event; yesterday we discussed a date in the middle of next week. As we've been thinking today about the hackathon timing and location, a number of concerns have come up about doing a hackathon even a week out from today. These concerns can be summarized as:
  • Planning efforts for a hackathon may take away from time and cycles that should be spent on direct action and immediate aid
  • Primary aid (food, shelter, basic supplies, first aid, essential connectivity) is still the more pressing need right now over technology; significant portions of the population will still be struggling for the basics come next week
  • Transportation may still be a problem next week
  • Current bootstrapped processes such as those being employed by groups like Hurricane Hackers are producing concerte results -- code is shipping (e.g.,
  • We're still not clear on what the exact nature and priority of the needs are that should be the focus for the technical community to address - we should look to build platforms and tools that both help in Sandy recover as well as become durable platforms for future responses
  • The city agencies we'd like to work with are buried and are not in a position to focus on a hackathon; not having their participation would be a big gap as their involvement allows us access to a whole host of tools, data, and expertise that would make what is developed at the hackathon much more useful
This is mind, the current thinking amongst those of us who have been considering a hackathon, in particular the leadership of NYTM as well as some of the lead volunteers, is as follows:
  • Continue to maximize the use of the various co-working spaces that have opened their doors to members of the technology community. These co-working spaces can be found using the tool
  • Consider working with several planned upcoming hackathons; encourage them to focus on Sandy related relief projects
  • Plan for a #NYTechResponds hackathon for later in the month when needs are better understood and transit is better recovered; this will also give us time to better plan for the fundraising angles we'd like to tie into this event
  • Hold a hackathon that emphasizes getting bright, talented people from different organizations and background in a room to crowdsolve problems in working groups based on expertise and experience.
What do you think? Check out the Google Doc about the hackathon we've created and share your thoughts there around the where, when, how, why, and what of the hackathon. The will help us to maximize the hackathon's utility to Sandy and applicability to future responses.

Hurricane Hackers
Our friends at Hurricane Hackers have made a lot of progress today. Two particularly notable developments:

Tools and Key Links
Here are some helpful links and URLs right now as the response continues:

"Sponsor a volunteer" fundraising platform
As we were thinking about the hackathon, we also discussed doing a "sponsor a volunteer" pledge drive whereby donors could give money to charities by pledging money per hour of volunteer work -- essentially a way of "double dipping" whereby each hour of volunteer work produces both concerte action and new dollars to support relief. Take a look at the basic spec we put together for the idea here - Let us know what you think and if you might like to help build this idea out.