Emergency 2.0 Wiki Project Launches its Blog!

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki Working Group are thrilled to announce that right this minute we are launching this blog live via a “Blog Launch Blitz”, to promote the wiki locally and globally to our stakeholders using social media!

We’re in Brisbane, Australia, with our laptops and mobile phones tweeting, posting discussions and blogging! Those that can’t be here are spreading the word wherever they are including Tim Miller (QldFloods.org & IT Integrity) who is tweeting from France!  Go social media!
Tweeting Blitz – We’re tweeting to our stakeholders locally and globally using the emergency and gov20 hashtags #smem #crisiscomms #gov2au #gov2qld and our own hashtag #em20wiki. Help us spread the word by following us on Twitter @emergency20wiki and retweeting “RT”. Also please cc people you know who would be interested in helping!

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is an initiative of the gov2qld group and its vision is to empower the community with the knowledge to use web2.0 and social media in emergency communications. It will be a new collaborative model for sharing and advancing knowledge – to provide best practice guidelines on how to utilise social media in all phases of emergency communications (prevention, preparation, response and recovery).

We aim to have the wiki ready for November for the Australian Summer season of floods, cyclones and bushfires.
It takes a community to create a wiki and we need your participation! We will be ’crowdsourcing’ input from all sectors of the community including emergency services, government, community agencies, business, ICT, the voluntary technical community, the education sector, the media and the public…
The blog site provides an information hub to keep you up to date as we journey to turning the vision into a reality. It has background information on the project, future scenarios of what an emergency 2.0 empowered community will look like, frequently asked questions, events and resources.

Most importantly, it will keep you up to date on progress with developing the Wiki!
Check it out and let us know what you think! We’d love your feedback!

To make sure you don’t miss anything, follow us on @emergency20wiki and our hashtag #em20wiki and sign up for our RSS Feed.


  1. Dave Plumb says:

    Sounds a great idea i will follow the blog with interest.

  2. Great initiative!

    Business and Media are stated as part of the group of intended users of this site (and its content). I was wondering if it was possible to change the CC licensing on this site to simply Attribution and Share Alike, rather than also Non-Commercial?

    Or perhaps to turn this question around, what commercial use are you concerned about?

    The plain english description of this license is: “the most restrictive of our six main licenses” and I imagine what you actually want to do is get this content out there and people using it, even if they work for a for-profit organisation that provides services in an emergency. E.g. a private utility company.

    • Hi James,
      Thanks for your support for the wiki and thanks so much for this post! It has highlighted that we needed to add more information to clarify what is meant by non-commercial use and our rationale behind using the licence (which we’ve now done, see copyright page). Most importantly, your post has highlighted that the emergency2.0 wiki community do need to have this discussion!

      It is also timely since Creative Commons Australia has just featured the Emergency 2.0 Wiki on their blog post and on their Creative Commons and Government page (which we are thrilled about!)

      It would also probably be fair to say that most of us are fairly new to this space (including me!), so this is a very important discussion to have. For the benefit of everyone reading this, (including the newbies in this space) I thought it would be a good idea to start with some definitions around what is meant by ‘commercial’ and ‘noncommercial’ in the world of creative commons licencing:

      According to the Creative Commons Legal Code, ‘commercial’ “means primarily intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.”

      Again, the definition of “Non commercial use” is “lets others copy, distribute, display and perform the work for noncommercial purposes only’. (Hence the ‘$’ symbol with the cross through it.)

      Why have we chosen a licence stipulating ‘non-commercial use’?

      The rationale behind this decision is this:
      The Emergency 2.0 Wiki resources will be developed from crowd sourcing guidelines, templates and tools on using social media in emergencies and applying learnings from the recent disasters.

      The ‘wisdom of the crowd’ from each of the key sectors: emergency, government, community, ICT sector, volunteer technical community, business and the media will be called on to review and provide input. Where gaps exist, we will crowdsource current best practice ‘business as usual’ social media guidelines, templates and tools for adaption for emergency management.

      Agencies, organisations and corporations will be freely sharing their guidelines, checklists, templates and tools and people will be volunteering their time to adapt them.

      These resources will be free for all to access, copy, share, remix, adapt, distribute etc.

      Our rationale for adding the “Not for Commercial Use” is that we want to protect this work (the guidelines etc) from someone coming along, copying it, repackaging it and selling it commercially eg as an ‘IBook’ for a profit.

      That would not be fair to the organisations that have shared their resources for the Wiki to use and to the hundreds of people who will be volunteering their time to write, review and edit them. It is also not in spirit of the wiki, which is to create free resources to be accessible by all.

      What we would welcome, is for a commercial entity to repackage the guidelines into other forms such as an Ibook or a smartphone app and make it available for free.

      Also in response to your statement that this is the most restrictive of licences, we need to highlight that this is not actually the case. According to Creative Commons, the most restrictive is the Attribution-Noncommercial-NonDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND). This is due to the ‘Non Derivatives’ aspect which means that you can only distribute the work in its current form and are not allowed to change, remix or build on the work. The list of licences is here.

      We are open to considering changing the licence if it is deemed by the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community as too restrictive.

      Thanks again James, for starting this important discussion. There are a lot of aspects to this topic and we looking forward to hearing other’s thoughts too!

      Cheers, Eileen

      • Thanks, Eileen. I think it is an important discussion to have because the biggest risk is that the content won’t be (re)used. Personally, I’d follow Wikipedia and change to CC BY-SA. As long as people don’t try to pass off this project’s content as their own, it will only support your overall goals and objectives – which is to share that knowledge. CC BY-SA would give you that assurance.

      • Brendan Morley says:


        As mentioned elsewhere I’m more biased against both NC and SA.

        With regard to NC, any entrepreneur who was “coming along, copying it, repackaging it and selling it commercially eg as an ‘IBook’ for a profit” would always be at risk that the next entrepreneur would “repackage the guidelines into other forms such as an Ibook or a smartphone app and make it available for free”.

        James and Eileen, I’m also not much of a fan of Share Alike. For a start it will make it more difficult for government to take on and republish whatever you guys come up with here. I also don’t think it uniquely protects as much as you may think. I’m interested to see what your argument for SA is?

        Disclaimer: I’m a refugee from OpenStreetMap, whose licence wars have forced me to think long and hard about what I want out of a CC licence and what the various permutations really mean.

        • @brendan – actually I’d support you, if you think even the SA license would restrict (re)use. I hope the emergency wiki community opt for the least restrictive license they feel comfortable with.

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