[Chugalug] "Code for America" $420,000 USD

Mike Harrison cluon at geeklabs.com
Tue Sep 3 11:18:04 UTC 2013

On Sep 2, 2013, at 10:02 PM, Rod <rod-lists at epbfi.com> wrote:

> There is a dire need for this one in town.
> Work on Sheltr.org
> http://brigade.codeforamerica.org/applications/9

Rod, neat app idea, I'm going to play devils advocate and ask 3 questions and take an unpopular stance:

1. Of the typical pseudo-homeless crowd, how many of them have a smartphone that can access such info?

2. Of those people, would it be possibly be more useful to get better information for these services into existing, installed on the phone by default, mapping/location/information systems?
    ie; spoon feeding google maps, bing maps, apple maps.. etc. with this detailed information in a standardized parable format that could be easily displayed?

3. Or is the intended use to be available to assistance providers? The target audience and specifications are not clear.  

I think my issue is the focus towards application development frenzy, instead of the focus towards sharing information in usable standardized formats. 

For example, if a small church were to open up a pantry and shelter of it's own, it could easily make that information available on it's web site in a format that is indexable and searchable. 
ie:   As of 20130904 20:00  2 beds are available at the Pastafarian Pantheism Parachurch Pagoda on Pius Street,  Spaghetti served daily at Seven pm. 

A mobile friendly organizational website might allow a seeker to place a 15 minute reservation on a bed.. giving them time to get there and get a bed. A phone call should work also. 

Otherwise the web app needs and organization to moderate and filter information, and maintain it. 

Building the web application (sans-detailed specification) is a  10-16 hrs job for a guy like me using my toolset, maintaining it, promoting it, keeping it current, etc.. is a full time job for one or more people. 
Coding it is not the issue. The rest of the entity requirements, meetings, organizational needs, server maintenance.. etc.. . is the issue. 

I've also worked with enough community service organizations and people in need to know that there is a lot of assistance available in the Chattanooga area,  I'll agree there could be specific needs for more and better information disbursement, but is creating another soon to be orphaned/abandoned web application built on an obtuse framework the answer? 

And for the on-topic part: Of course, it should run on Linux. 

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