In a slightly low-tech way of differentiating the 3 audiences for which I write now (Careerimp, Polaris Project, and you, my dear readers) I am now using 3 browsers, one for each mind-set. Chrome, Firefox and Safari (all with different skins) help keep me from posting about jobs in the Merchant Marine on Polaris’s Twitter account, or writing about the intersection between cell-phones and human slavery on Careerimp’s blog. But sometimes, tweeting for one or researching blog posts for the other, I come across something that benefits both. So I write about it here.
Holla Back DC is a blog/organization that combats street harassment, who I discovered when ForbesWoman on Twitter mentioned them (I follow them as the communications manager for Careerimp). Since I live in DC now, I mentioned the project to my friends at Polaris Project. Specifically, I got excited about their iPhone app, which allows women to report street harassment. The reporting they do without the app (shown in this Google Map) is harrowing:
View Holla Back DC! in a larger map
As ugly as street harassment can get, and it gets ugly, I can’t help but being so excited about this awesome use to technology to empower women in one of my cities. Holla Back (with blogs in 12 cities in 3 countries) uses 3 technologies for the social good:
- Community blogs where women can report harassment, giving location and descriptions of the harassers.
- Google Maps, which provide a striking visual of the extent to which harassment effects women in a given area.
- iPhone App, which, though the approval is still pending, will allow women to post photos of their harassers and help even more women report.
Stuff like this makes me glad to be a geek.
“What is the city but the people?”–William Shakespeare