Launch of the Flu Wiki
Just a Bump in the Beltway, The Next Hurrah and Effect Measure blogs announce the launch of a new experiment in collaborative problem solving in public health, The Flu Wiki.
A Wiki is a form of collaborative software that allows anyone to edit (change) any page on the site using a standard web browser like Explorer, Firefox or Safari.The purpose of the Flu Wiki is to help local communities prepare for and perhaps cope with a possible influenza pandemic. This is a task previously ceded to local, state and national governmental public health agencies. Communications technology has now become sufficiently available to allow a new form of collaborative problem solving that harvests the rich fund of knowledge and experience that exists among those connected via the internet, allowing more talent to participate.
What the Flu Wiki is not:
- a news filter
- a discussion board
- a place to promote commercial products
- a soap box
- a place to advance pet theories
What we hope the wiki will be:
- a reliable source of information, as neutral as possible, about important facts useful for a public health approach to pandemic influenza
- a venue for anticipating the vast range of problems that may arise if a pandemic does occur
- a venue for thinking about implementable solutions to foreseeable problems
The open nature of the wiki format has shown itself able to develop surprisingly effective and sophisticated products, as in the Wikipedia. Whether it will work to fashion new solutions to a complex public health problem remains to be seen. This is in the nature of a grand experiment. We hope you will join us in it.
The initial offerings are small and illustrative, in keeping with the limited resources of those of us who are turning the keys in the ignition for the first time. While we will continue to administer and maintain the Wiki, we are turning the wheel over to the community, to take it where the road leads us. There is a bit of a learning curve to driving this rig. We hope you will find the instructions sufficient to get started. You'll soon be learning on your own. There is a "sandbox" page you can use to play with if you wish.
Here's the URL: http://www.fluwikie.com/. Regularly updated content will be forthcoming in the days and weeks to come, both by us and by you. That's what wikis are for.
See you there.
Melanie Mattson (Just a Bump in the Beltway), DemFromCT (The Next Hurrah), Revere (Effect Measure).