Connecting the Grassroots and Government

In the coming days, the growing connections between the crowd and US government agencies will become a major meme in the news. The stories will focus on how grassroots communities--digital volunteers--are transforming the way that the government processes data for development and emergency operations. As a board member of one of these organizations, it gives me great pleasure to see years of work finally gaining recognition. Thousands of volunteers are changing the world of information management. We need to celebrate this accomplishment and trumpet it loud and clear.

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Roman Totenberg (1911-2012): Violinist, Teacher, and Gentle Man

Today, one of my chamber music coaches, Roman Totenberg, passed away at 101. He represented the vitality that music brings to life: the gentle power that comes from drawing a bow across a string, the life that even old hands can find in notes which are themselves hundreds of years more agèd than the player. His memory lives on in those of us who follow the same gentle path--the one that he showed us through his grace, his class, and his softspoken wisdom. Rest in peace, Mr. Totenberg, knowing that you touched us all.

Humanitarian Songbook

As I awoke this morning to news that we might be replaying the Boxing Day tsunami from 2004 all over again, I watched the actions across my various email, skype, and twitter channels and got anxious. We have made so much progress on technology and practice since 2004, and we now have a community of dedicated and talented crisis mappers, and yet, our coordination is still not where it could be.

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