Above: iGeigie from Joi on Flickr
Yesterday, we looked at crowdsourcing in crisis, taking the Middle East as an example. The thoughts came from Al Jazeera’s head of New Media Mohamed Nanabhay, who spoke on a panel at the MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference.
Today, we turn to the experiences of Joi Ito, new director of the MIT Media Lab, who has been crowdsourcing radiation levels in post-quake Japan:
On the panel, Ito said he was frustrated with the lack of useful information from Japan’s news organizations in the first few hours after the earthquake. As he monitored events from the U.S, he was glad for the rapid Twitter updates.
“People sitting in pitch dark rooms, phones aren’t working and they’re on the net or watching TV. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know if they should be running away. Twitter was offering instruction long before news organizations offered any information. In that way, they were more effective in the early hours of the crisis.”
After the nuclear plant meltdown at Fukushima, Ito’s frustration was compounded by the ongoing misinformation from the government on safe levels of radiation. Rather than relying on inaccurate reports from government agencies, Ito began...