Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Telephony to the Rescue, Reuniting Loved Ones

(A version of this item - with live links - is also available at

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

This is a good moment for mission-based organizations to remember that
a telephone system is a strategic information and communication
technology system.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, not everyone has access to
internet tools for locating displaced loved ones, but telephone
service is widely available.

In the world of telephony, there are at least two projects in progress
that are somewhat parallel to the web-based Katrina PeopleFinder:


Air America Radio's Public Voicemail

Here's how Dan Schoeffler, creator of ContactLovedOnes.Org, describes it:

"CLO is an open, non-private voicemail system indexed by telephone number."

"For example, Jane is looking for her missing father. She calls
CLO'stoll-free number and enters his usual telephone number. She can
thenleave a voice message for him or listen to messages from him. When
herfather calls the toll-free number, he enters his own phone number.
Hecan then leave a message for other callers to hear saying he is
safeand how he can be contacted or he can listen to messages left for

As of this moment, ContactLovedOnes.Org is still in development. Air
America Radio's Public Voicemail is up and running.

Best regards from Deborah

Deborah Elizabeth Finn
Boston, Massachusetts, USA