Friday, June 02, 2006

I'd like your feedback!

I came up with this idea about a year ago, and with my husband’s help have been able to make it a reality.

The idea came about shortly after Hurricane Katrina. I was devastated watching the news and seeing what had happened, and how many people were missing. I felt so helpless and heartbroken and I wish I could do something. I started to notice while looking at the missing loved ones info, that most of the time the pictures were out of date that is if there was one. I started to think, “Why was that?” We hope to never be in that situation to have someone go missing, but if we do we would like to think that would have current information and pictures. We never think, what if I loose my house where I keep all that information, or what if I’m out of town when it happens and don’t have access to that? That is when the idea came that would hopefully help my family and others to be prepared.

I wanted to provide a place online where people can store their loved ones pictures and vital information, so no matter where they are they have access to it. We also wanted to provide links to places that would better inform all of us how to keep our kids safe and what to do if someone goes missing. We wanted one place for everything you needed in case of an emergency. I know for myself, if something were to happen to my kids I wouldn’t be able to think straight, and to know I had a place where all there information was located that I would need it could be a life saver. I’m blessed with a husband that has the talents to be able to make this idea become a reality and have more drive and determination about this project them me sometimes.

We did some research and so far have found one website who offers part of what we offer, but at a price per kid. We aren’t in this for the money! It’s a place to provide us with peace of mind that we are prepared for the worst. Once the site is up and running we would like donations, so we can cover the cost of up keep, hosting fees, servers, and development.

One of the hubby's biggest concerns, since there are going to be pictures on the site of children is keeping all the data secure. There are a lot of sexual preditors out there and wouldn't want the information on this site to get into anyones hands but yours. It is your information for you and you alone. Being a web developer he thought long and hard on how to keep it secrure besides just having user name and passwords. If people want specifics on that and understand code mumble gumble, I'll have him post a comment.

I would really like your opinions and input to possibly help us improve this idea so we know what to do next. If only my family or close friends use it I’m happy with that, but if a lot of people are going to use it, we would like to start a non-profit corporation, so I need help knowing what actions I need to take. If you think this is a good idea please send this on to other people you know, because I would like their opinion and ideas too, the more the better.

To leave a comment on the blog, you don’t have to have one. Here’s how you do it…Type your comment in the leave your comment box, at the end of you comment type your name, since I am interested in who responds and what each of you have to say, then click “anonymous” and type the letters you see in the word verification box and then click on publish your comment. If you have a website you can click on “other” instead of “anonymous” and type in your name and web page. I look forward to hear what you have to say.


scrumpestuous d said...

Great idea. I have a friend who runs a non-profit. If you have any questions about how to do that, I can get you her info. She's super nice, and I'd bet she could help out if things get that big. If I have any other big ideas, I'll let you know. I'll send you a link to her website.

Jared G. said...

Hi Erin! I haven't talked to you in a long time. My comment will be the voice of strict caution. The internet is a place where predators find out all sorts of information that can lead to abductions and abuse. If you aren't careful, a website like the one you're proposing could get kids into trouble rather than help them. My sister Jenn worked for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for over three years, so she's pretty well versed on this stuff. Give her an email and I'm sure she'll respond (I'll send you an email with her address in it).

Also--check out one of NCMEC's websites: . I would recommend all of it, especially the kids' page for educating your children about how to be safe online. But for you, scroll down and do all of the links under "Real-Life Stories" and "Social Networking..." This won't necessarily help you in putting together your organization, but it will alert you to the dangers of posting personal information on the internet.

I still think your idea is a good one. Perhaps having the site be encrypted/password protected (like a site) would be something to make it safe. Anyway, my two cents has turned into more like a dollar fifty, so I'll end this. Good luck!

Erin said...

Well Jared reminded that I forgot to inform you all that my hubby worked really well to have the site secure, more than just user name and password. Definately something that we have considered and taken care of!

Amanda said...

Hi Erin I was actually going to call and see how everything was going for you guys since we are in Indiana. I think it would be a great idea, but I have no experience in that I do not have any suggestions on how to help you, but I think it sounds great!

Kilted Wolf said...

Great points Jared G. I have been programming on the web for almost 10 years now. I programmed everything with the coloaberation of two other developers. We currently protect other peoples privite information in our full time jobs. Everything from SS#, to credit cards. One of the reasons this has taken so long to program is we had to take into account everything from people using this for the wrong reasons to using it to steal info about kids. I wont get technical on how it all works, but the images and information is secure. If you want more technical info let me know. There will be a place on the site that talks about security and what we are doing to make sure no one but you has access to your information.

- The Hubby.

Stephanie said...

I think it's a good idea.

Silent_Atrophy said...

It's just me Jason the Pariha

The only questions i would have to ask is who foots the bill on the storage and how do you keep smut peddelers out? Pedophiles know no sanctity or dignity. Other than that two words Over Due.

Heather said...

I think that is such a great idea. I hope you're able to figure everything out,wish I had something to help you, but I have no idea how this works.

Kilted Wolf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kilted Wolf said...

Q. Who foots the bill on the storage?
A. For now, my company TI4 Technology. But we are working with Fibernet and other corporate sponsors in helping with that cost. My company has a shared server that we are hosting it on until it gets to big or the donations will cover the costs.

Q. How will we keep Smut peddelers out?
A. This is a much harder question. One that I have lost a few nights sleep over. But we have come up with a few ways to make sure the system is not abused in any way. Like password protecting the images and data, limiting the number of logins per day per account, limiting the number of signups per day per ip address. Those are just a few of the messures we are putting in place.

- The Hubby.

dustin said...

My family has been missing a long time now. If I had pictures of them somewhere I'm sure it would help me find them. Now if your web site could pull pictures of the person you were supposed to marry and what your children would look like that would really be something. Perhaps some sort of cosmic aura scanner. Anyway what you're working on sounds great too, best of luck. I had some suggestions for the hubby about security, hope it helps.

Silent_Atrophy said...

Just a thought but in the DB you might want to make zip code a searchable flag. Disasters cause a lost home typicaly affect the whole area. Being able to search by zip and allowing the data owners to flag who's missing and who's not will allow for quick data dumps of relevant people to the authorities. Also might be handy to allow data owners to have logins for their kids so they can post messages that only their parents can see. Like "I'm at the shelter" or "where can we meet?" without being able to do anything malicious/stupid like i'm a spoiled teenager and i think that picture is ugly so i'm going to delete it. that might make security harder or functionality pointless but if the login restrictions are lifted during local disasters it might help a lot of people.

Oh before i forget. I polled people at work on the idea. About 10 people. the most common responses were when will it be up and how do i get to the site?