Software

World insurance schemes

Not all insurance schemes are paid for and delivered in money. Granted, we pay for the European Union, which started as an unstated insurance scheme against war (and seems to have worked very well, given how the German and Greek governments must feel about each other at the moment); ditto the UN. The biggest insurance scheme is still starting up now, and that’s to distribute skills, capacity and goodwill across the whole of the world, so that if any one part of it is hit by disaster, the rest are willing and able to help. As I keep saying in CrisisCamp, it’s not them and us any more, it’s us and us. I have two favourite illustrations of this at the moment – that an African-led group (Ushahidi) could help with a disaster in the Americas, and that the satellite sites for next month’s Random Hacks of Kindness (RHOK1.0) aren’t…

Software

Visualising wikis

I’ve been doing some website updates recently, as part of the CrisisCommons work. My father taught me to always clean and examine something carefully before you take it apart, and this works as well for code and sites as it does for cars and houses, so I’ve been carefully analysing each site against a set of intended (and frequency-weighted) user journeys. And what would be a really nice thing to have would be a tool that generated a semantic network of a wikisite so I could trace its hub nodes and get an easy visual representation of how much each node and link is used (colour-coding seemed obvious here). Now I remember the small worlds (everything is just 6 steps from everything else if you know which 6 steps to take) and semantic network theories from uni, and I’ve knocked up a few labelled graphs myself in my time, and…