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.