After more than 6 months of preparations, today saw the first ‘live’ action of http://bushfireconnect.org, a not-for-profit website to report and share (hyper-) local news and updates on bushfires in Australia.
Driven fully by volunteers, Bushfire Connect (BFC) integrates citizen reporting with official agency information, and allows anyone to subscribe to receive customised alerts via email or SMS.
It was great to see that despite BFC being spawned in Victoria, West Australians picked up on its potential and started reporting on the devastating fires raging around Perth at the moment. Traffic to the site is peaking attracting hundreds of unique visitors on its first day in action. The servers are coping admirably so far.
I must say I feel really pumped to get to this point, having worked with a really great bunch of volunteers who all donated lots of their spare time for this cause. The team page on our blog is unfortunately not up to date, so I hereby extend my deep gratitude to all of you:
- Daniela Fernandez (Sydney)
- Keren Flavell (Melbourne)
- Serene Ho (Melbourne)
- Anthony Joseph (Sydney)
- Darren Mottolini (joining us today from Perth to moderate WA reports)
- Vicky Pinpin-Feinstein (Sydney)
- Martin Tomko (Zurich & Melbourne)
And lastly to Ushahidi’s Patrick Meier for bringing the original team together back in May 2010, and being there for lots of advice.