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When I left home for the first time, mother told me to get a kit together in case of an emergency. A flashlight, small amount of cash, bandages, a couple cans of food, batteries, water, etc. Thankfully I’ve never had to use the kit to-date.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve learned that there’s a new kit on the market that is way more important than any kit previously offered for an emergency. This new kit appears to be named the, "Scoble Emergency Preparedness Kit".
As you can imagine, sites like Twitter and FriendFeed have taken over the way the Web works. Fast Company videoblogger Robert Scoble calls this movement the "realtime web" and apparently it will be the end to all other forms of emergency reporting. While I can’t be sure, it seems like the more people that use this kit, the more likely we are to prevent anything bad from happening anywhere in the world.
Item #1 – Twitter account
Goes without saying but you must have a Twitter account enabled and verified. It’s important to follow and be followed by the Scobleizer account. This is important because in the event of an emergency you can get your news directly to Scoble who will get it out to all Twitters worldwide.
Item #2 – Friendfeed account
This is almost as important as item #1. You want to create an account on Friendfeed, and be on the ready. The moment an emergency hits, you are absolutely to create a room to discuss the emergency and use it as a base of operations. You should also announce the room on both Friendfeed and Twitter. Learn from Scoble’s mistake with regards to US Airways Flight #1549 so you are ready should the need arise.
Item #3 – Smart Phone With Highspeed Mobile Access
It’s important that you get your news, photos and videos into the appropriate units of the realtime web. To do this, you will need a smart phone with a good highspeed mobile plan. The best phone is clearly the Palm Pre for this type of usage but for now you can go with a Nokia N95 or a Samsung Ace. My suggestion is to get more than one battery so when you are out using the phone to document, you will never run out of time. Verify that you can post to items #1 and #2 from your mobile as quickly as possible. Don’t worry if everyone uses your photos and videos without credit or payment – in the real-time web, scraping is welcomed!
Item #4 – Group Twitter Tool
You will want to get a group Twitter tool like CrowdStatus or Tweetdeck. The key here is to watch all of the other Twitter users who are in your emergency group (I am group #10813B) and then as tweets come in related to the emergency, you can retweet them out. The more retweets you can do, the better. And it’s completely ok to retweet a retweet – we call that reretweet.
From what we understand the kit is currently available worldwide. You must have all of the items to make the kit complete. Ordering is, of course, via the Twitter payment system.
The company behind the kit is looking for feedback on items to add for version 2 launching this spring. Leave your thoughts about future additions in the comments as the company is watching for feedback.
Seesmic CEO Loic LeMeur has been traveling the world again (boy he gets around!) and is now in Japan. He was able to capture a 2-minute video which I’ve embedded below where he interviews someone from Digital Garage about the launch of "Twittco". Twittco appears to be some sort of group tool but it’s hard to make out from the video exactly what it does.
Loic asks about what the tool does and it appears that you can group Twitter accounts together. This seems similar to FriendFeed lists where you can select individual FriendFeed user accounts for each list. Currently Twittco is only available for those in Japan or for those who can understand the Japanese language. Apparently the tool will eventually be available for those here.
We reported on Twitter grouping tool CrowdStatus back in April and have been using it ever since. CrowdStatus allows you to select Twitter users and then you see their latest messages in a "crowd" format. I’ve also heard of other tools as well that help you create group-like groups. Personally I’d prefer Twitter talk to us about how they plan to generate revenue before they develop any additional new features.
Update: Svetlana at Profy has more on the Twittco launch.
CrowdStatus allows you to create live groups of people you follow on Twitter. Josh at Webware has an indepth review of CrowdStatus from earlier this month. I’ve asked for this type of functionality before – the ability to follow different groups of people for different things. For example, on the mobile, I’d like only x and y sent but on the Web client, I’d like everything.
I spoke with creator Darrent Stuart who shared two major updates for the application launched yesterday. The first one is to use CrowdStatus as your Twitter application. Rather than going to Twitter, you can send updates inside of CrowdStatus. To set up the updates, add your Twitter login info to your account.
The other update is the ability to create crowds of protected followers. By providing CrowdStatus with your Twitter credentials, CrowdStatus can create crowds of people you follow that are not public.
If you’ve created a crowd, post a link in the comments – would be interesting to see a variety of crowds.