iHollaBack is Coolest App I Have Seen

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:

  1. Community blogs where women can report harassment, giving location and descriptions of the harassers.
  2. Google Maps, which provide a striking visual of the extent to which harassment effects women in a given area.
  3. 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.

Inspirational Quote:

“What is the city but the people?”–William Shakespeare


  1. *puts on super nerd glasses* unless that site intends to change anytime soon, they’re using OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps, which is totally different and I don’t think it’s even sourced from the same dataset.

    as a sidenote: where is this based? several of their TESTING posts are coming from right down the street from my office, I’m tempted to go and holla at them

  2. Hmm, I can’t speak to the difference between the two, but I’m glad someone can. Re: their location. I think they have “branches” (though that is probably too formal) in a bunch of places. I got the feeling the App itself is from the NYC group, but the DC blog has a lot of activity as well. Distributed communities at their best!

    And by “holla at them” I hope you mean “donate coding skilz”. :-D.

Get in touch

%d bloggers like this: