How to Post

The Tracker Project is a central global database to post first-hand accounts of events related to data outages.  You can send in stories, videos, or photos related to data outages.


Medium/Ways of Reporting:

There are currently 4 ways people can report outages. Once verified we will plot it on tracker.

  1. Smartphone Apps - iPhone/Android users can download the Ushahidi app from their App stores and add the site URL in its settings as http://tracker.outages.org/ and start reporting.
  2. Twitter - use hashtag/s #downtime or #outages or #outage or #cablecut or #fibercut or #powercut or #poweroutage
  3. Web - Just click the "Submit a Report" at the top of the page. Give the location of your event in the "location" field under the map. You can enter a general location like "Downtown NYC" and then click + drag on the map icon to give a more precise location. You can embed a YouTube video in your post by just pasting the link into the post content. 
  4. Subscribe/e-mail to outages@outages.org


Twitter Reporting Format:

Twitter report should contain Four parts at least. 1Is the hashtag #outages. 2 - Type of report i.e. the Category. 3 - Location from where you are reporting. 4 - Time/Duration.

Part 1 - Hashtag - #outages - this is the tag that tells us its something we should look into. So this is essential for our system to pick up your report automatically. You can anyone such as #outage or #outages or #downtime as listed above.

Part 2 - Categories:
#unplanned - for unplanned outage(s).
#planned - if you know the outage happens regularly or it was informed
in advance to you by the provider or electric company by some means.
#restored - Services restored.
#submarine (Undersea)

Part 3 - Location - #loc 
#loc followed by the street name, city name for e.g. #loc Anaheim, California (please note there is a comma between the street name/locality and the city name).

Part 4 - Time/Duration - #start-> start time. #back->end time.
If you are tweeting exactly when the outage occurred, no need to include the #start. We can pick it up from the time of your tweet. If you are reporting after the service is restored. Make sure you include both #start and #back time. 
For e.g. #outages #unplanned #start 9 PM #back 10 PM #loc Anaheim, California

Example tweets:

  • #outages #planned #start 0900 PM #back 1000 PM #loc One Wilshire, Santa Monica, California
  • #cablecut #unplanned construction crew back hoed #loc One 
  • Wilshire, Street 100, Santa Monica, California 
  • #cablecut #restored Services were restored #loc One Wilshire, Street 100, Santa Monica, California
  • #fibercut #unplanned Construction crew cut the wrong cable off the conduit repair #loc One Wilshire, Street 100, Santa Monica, California
  • #powercut #unplanned AT&T pop #loc Anaheim, California - followed by 
  • another tweet - #powercut #restored Services came back online after 
  • backup generators kicked in.


Privacy:

  1. Report anonymously from the website or using the smartphone app if you are concerned about your location privacy/identity.
  2. Since twitter is a public medium, if you tweet your location or even geotag your tweets, you are sharing your location with the world already.
  3. If you report using any other means, we do not publish your phone number etc nor share it with any third party.


Ways to Help:

  1. Tell us how you think data can be useful for you? Please give your suggestions (no sign in required).
  2. Become a regular outages reporter and help us constantly monitor outages in your city or state. All you got to do is tweet with the hashtag/s whenever there is an outage.
  3. Help us manage this project - Volunteer as a Moderator of incoming stream of reports.
  4. Help design graphics for the site.
  5. Can code?


Team of Contributors:

The CROWD!


Site Setup & Application Admin:

Website customization, hosting, setup, code customizations and tweaks, categories, adding new features, database administration etc.

Virendra Rode - in case of tech issues or questions about the project, please ping him at virendra dot rode at outages dot org. The website is hosted by generous donation from PhoenixNap


Posting Guidelines:

  • Please try to post unedited, first-hand accounts to tracker map. 
  • Include as much information about the time and date of the event as possible.
  • Make sure to set a date and time for your post if it's not happening right now.
  • No need to post location and date information in the title - it's already embedded in a map and time-line.