[Melbourne-pm] Stuff exchange web site design?

Rick Measham rick at measham.id.au
Mon Feb 9 19:58:03 PST 2009

Tim Hogard wrote:
> I've been chating with a friend in the US that deals with post disaster 
> assistance.  The big problem is the logistics of getting stuff from
> the donars to the people who need it.
> He had a PHP thing that sort of worked until it got hit hard and
> then died but there seems to be a need for this sort of thing.
> Anyone got time to do it right?

First, Tim: I'm not able to help resurrect some PHP thing sorry.

Post Katrina I considered putting together a virtual team to write some 
software to handle community-led disaster recovery. Needless to say I 
never got around to it. It would need:
* Registration of those affected
* Registration of people searching for those affected
* Registration of time/service volunteers
* Registration of item volunteers
* Registration of distributors (authorised liaisons with emergency 
services .. these could be from the Red Cross or Salvos)
* A way for item and time volunteers to register their offers
* A way for those affected to accept an offer
* A way to notify when someone you were searching for or who is 
searching for you is registered
* A status update for those affected

I'd love it if it was a distributed system where anyone who wanted to 
could set it up on their website, but it all met up somewhere in the 
backend. That way you could visit any of a number of websites (Red 
Cross, Government, Fire Services, etc) to register as a 'victim' and 
anyone registered as searching for you could visit any host to find you.

If it were just open source, we'd be in danger of every service 
organization setting up their own database and making it virtually 

Anyway, this is just some thoughts that have been rolling around in my 
head for a few years, finally set out in little pixels.

Rick Measham
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