Last week I posted a story, Social Media Provides Critical Data During Hawaiian Tsunami, that detailed how two guys in Hawaii put together a critical information portal to keep folks aware of what was happening in Hawaii during the Tsunami Warning following the massive 8.8 earthquake in Chile.  This portal included streaming video of a local Honolulu news station, a Twitter feed showing all tweets with the hashtag #hitsunami as well as mirroring important evacuation documents because the normal hosting site was overwhelmed. I invite you to read or re-read that original story to get a feel for why they put that site online so quickly.

I contacted @johngarcia this week to follow up on the experience and he shared some very interesting info with me about visitor traffic the site received and some future plans he has in the area of information sharing/collection.

This traffic data is from 28 Feb 2010. The site went online in the wee hours of 27 Feb 2010 so we might be talking about roughly 36 hours of time here.

  • 118,340 visits
  • 139,935 page views
  • 96,878 unique visitors
  • 1,053 sources and mediums for the traffic (top 10 in order)
    • Direct
    • Google (Organic)
    • Facebook.com
    • Twitter.com
    • mbl.is
    • Ustream.tv
    • godlikeproductions.com
    • CNN.com
    • Orkut.com.br
    • hawaiitsunami.com
  • 34.11% was direct
  • 51.31% came from referring sites
  • 14.5% was from search engines
  • Average on site time 1:28; peaking at 2:40 at 10:00 AM HST on 27 Feb 2010; dropped down to 1:11 by 1:00 PM HST; then to :30 for next 11 hours

On the Live streaming side of things (@kaeo did this part):

  • Live stream of Honolulu’s KHON2 News lasted for 10 hours, 23 minutes and 33 seconds on Ustream.tv 
  • 11,798 Viewer Days, 28 minutes and 53 seconds
  • 194,852 Unique Viewers
  • 265,698 Total Viewers
  • 27,246 Viewers at any given time. I saw the viewer totals peek at around 81,000 at one time during the moments right before the tsunami was scheduled to hit Hawaii.

John tells me that he is working on a re-design of the hitsunami.info portal and will also be adding some additional emergency information sites to the collection to cover hurricanes (hihurricane.info), blackouts (hiblackouts.info), and basic emergencies (hiemergency.info).  He also tells me there will be an app for that soon as well for iPhone users.

I think John and Kaeo found a service that was desperately needed based on the raw traffic numbers the site experienced and in a time of a natural or man-made disaster information is king. Information creates a calmness that is from being prepared as opposed to struggling to find info.

Just shows that a little creativity and ingenuity with the tools at hand can go a very long way in today’s world.