Today's ETech Hack is Tomorrow's Critical Infrastructure…

My friend Jordan Schwartz just gave me the perfect example of how quickly a cool hack can turn into Critical Infrastructure.  Jordan wrote “How to build an SMS Service” and created SwaggleSMS as a demonstration of how to do group chat with SMS.  It’s a hack that he created as an experiment (it’s super-useful for conference afterparty coordination).

Jordan and I were talking about some of the interesting ways that Twitter is being used by mainstream emergency management (see: FactoryJoe, Radar post).  Jordan then showed me a message he discovered while checking logs after an upgrade:

Tom1132 to OurTownFD: Possible drowning in bay

If it’s not obvious… this is fire department who has apparently been using the service for a while.  It’s a perfect example of how quickly a hack can become critical infrastructure without the creator knowing, let alone being prepared for it.  The picture to the right is the “Swaggleplex”… fully operational.

Mikel Maron and I are presenting at ETech on Disaster Tech: What’s Working, What’s next and we’ll be diving into this and other examples of just how quickly the world is changing.

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