Warwire

A specialist analytics resource for war correspondents and journalists

Achieved with CookiesHQ since January 2016

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War journalist, Joseph Adams, spent over two years exclusively following the conflict in Syria, working as part of Syria Direct. He has a Masters in Political Science from MiT, with a background in technological project management and a strong understanding of political violence.

While at Syria Direct, Joseph used social media to investigate war crimes, weapons proliferation and military operations in Syria. However, learning techniques to collect and analyse scattered, confused and multilingual social media is difficult and time-consuming. To verify claims being made from various sources, he had to search through several social media platforms, look at multiple users, and then parse the data. It was labor-intensive and slow-going. Off-the-shelf solutions were also too expensive and overly-complicated.

Analysing the data is always going to require a skilled human researcher, but Joseph realised if he could speed up the initial, location-specific data collection, he could save a lot of time and energy.

It was through his first-hand experience of reporting on conflict areas, he came up with the idea of WarWire. It was to be a platform that provides journalists with real-time data and live feeds, enabling them to remotely monitor areas in conflict.

With funding from Oasis500 – a Jordanian investment company for technology startups – Joseph was able to begin chasing his goal of creating his platform that would be available for the majority, rather than just those that could afford it. However, whilst he had a great idea, he lacked any formal development background and was in need of a team to help build it.

“It’s very hazardous to find and trust a development shop with thousands of dollars to build a vision. I’m happy I found CookiesHQ and that I got as good of a project as I did. I’m definitely keeping them on board for future development tasks. Bottom line, I would absolutely recommend them and I have done so – the product has been a great result.”

Joseph Adams, Founder and CEO of Warwire

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After meeting with us, Joseph quickly realised that we were more than just developers with technical skills – we offered a two-way approach where we could work alongside him, discuss features, offer suggestions and ideas for improvements to the site. He felt he could trust us to give truthful and honest advice, as well an overall feeling of collaboration and involvement in the project.

There is plenty in the pipeline to keep improving WarWire in the future and making it an engaging experience for its users. We’re excited to continue working alongside Joseph to develop this great resource further.

Technologies used: Ruby on Rails, Heroku

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