Info Sismo MX, a collaborative data journalism story

The series of earthquakes that shattered Mexico from coast to coast happened in the span of 10 days in September 2017. Days of us reading and seeing the devastation online and offline.

Chicas Poderosas has chapters in more that 10 countries and whatsapp lists where dozens of women journalists, reporters, designers, communications and media professionals share info, tips, stories and ideas.

The main topics that are discussed in our lists have been, Femicides in Latin America, Equal Pay, Digital Security and Gender based Cyber Violence. All of these topics affect us as women and concerns us a media professionals and communities.

However, the past weeks in Mexico, we were addressing a different question. Where do I find….who knows…Where can I crash…Who knows who/where/what/why/when.

The need for centralized information that was generated as fast as people were posting and sharing on social media was challenging our community as people and as professionals. The volume grew very fast as did the needs. Buildings destroyed, people trapped under rubble, relatives and neighbors wanting to help and the media trapped between both scenarios.

Hence, the morning of Sept 20th, from the Decamp Bus #66, commuting from NJ into New York City and chatting with the Chicas across Latin America online we came up with #Infosismomx:

Initially a common, open, public google sheet where people could start imputing information in the following categories:

– Urgent

– Volunteers Needs

– Volunteers Offer

– Maps

– Information

– Donations and Collections

– People searching people

The question of time stamping and verification came a few hours later as other amazing crews of technologists and volunteers from other organizations began sharing their efforts online. We all decided to trust each other and input into our source document verified posts. Sandra Barrón, joined Verificado19S team and had been key in making sure information is shared with the highest verification standards and accuracy.

The question of design and webpage came that evening and Eliana Vaca (aka Uva) began working on our logo and page. “Uva” was ready the next day with from Argentina helped us organize the database standards and volunteers from across the continent started inputting information.

Chicas Argentina, México, Colombia were involved in sharing the info and populating the document online joining the hashtag #BrigadaDigitalMX

A week into this collaborative effort involving dozens of women journalists and communicators infosismomx is evolving into the next phase. After a week of live updating and constant sharing we decided to take a break. We update the page once a day, clean up the categories and double check what we do during the day.

Global appeal, intersectionality, women leadership and strength in technologies are the ingredients for this virtual project making waves in the digital ecosystem.

Thank you, Chicas Poderosas, Chicas México, Mariana Santos, Eliana Vaca, Kennia Velázquez, Sandra Barrón, Mauricio Viola, Susana Chacón, Belén Arce and the volunteers who populate the page everyday.

¡Ayúdanos a compartir esta historia!