Origins of GlobalCommit in Social Media
GlobalCommit has its origins in Social Media Emergency Management (SMEM). People who use free and open social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with communities-of-interest gathered around a crisis, whether that is a hurricane in New York City or a typhoon in the Philippines.
Yet there is only so much that can be done by social media alone. Social media often leaves great gaps in knowledge. You might get a burst of information from one highly-connected cluster of plugged-in individuals, while other needs and interests remain utterly unaddressed due to issues of “digital divides” that either pre-existed the crises, or were created as a result of it.
Combing Data Sources
Beyond social media data, there is also organizational data from community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and even small or medium sized entities, such as companies or local non-profits or governmental agencies. These groups are usually already plugged into communities, and can assess needs that external groups would not have historical insight into.
On top of that, there are “big data” collections, often gathered by large corporations, high tech organizations, governments and large NGOs. Such data is often open for public review, though there are also more private data sources where needs of privacy, confidentiality, and identity protection are paramount. (For instance, public health data, or information about refugees, etc.)
Between these three main types of sources — crowdsourcing/social media, small/medium-sized organizations, and large-scale collections — problems and crises can be mapped and modeled in new ways that have never been possible before.
The Vision: A Global Conflict & Crisis “Weather Map”
It is the goal of GlobalCommit to eventually produce its own “global conflict and crisis weathermapping system.” Imagine a virtual globe that can be spun around. Zooming in on any major problem the world is facing, and then seeing different “layers” of the problem. If there is Ebola in West Africa, how does that impact the economy of the suffering nations? How does it affect food production and food security? Where are resources presently allocated, and where are there gaps? What groups are on the ground in which communities, and how can a globally-concerned citizen donate to help them? How can a student, a parent, a teacher, or a professional “double-click” on any of these crises to get more information on more granular levels?
There are already many diverse systems existing in the world that address such critical problems that the world faces. Where possible, GlobalCommit will not re-invent the wheel, but will partner with or refer users to other well-known resources. Wikis, forums, and other mapping and data visualization sites. However, in theory, it should as much as possible act as an aggregation source for such open data collections, to provide a broad and deep perspective on critical global problems.
Call for Participants
If you are a data professional, a developer, or are otherwise interested in actively participating in this project, please join us at our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlobalCommit/
Sign up, and introduce yourself. Let us know of your experience, what other projects you have worked on (or are currently working on), and how you could see yourself participating in our project.
All participation is purely voluntary.