Friday, September 09, 2011

The Waffle House Indicator and one of my own

The Waffle House Indicator is a litmus test that Craig Fuguate with FEMA uses to determine the severity of a natural disaster:

"The Waffle House," according to the Journal, "spends almost nothing on advertising, [and] has built a marketing strategy around the goodwill gained from being open when customers are most desperate."
...
"Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions."

Brilliant and simple. I love it.

And you know that if The Wall Street Journal, NPR, SurvivalistBoards.com and Kottke.org all cover the story, it's got to be good.

Which neatly brings me to one indicator of my own: when I see the same topic, presented in a similar way, from the very-right-leaning SurivalistBoards.com and the very-left-leaning buzzfeed.com I know I should take note. Doesn't happen frequently, but when it does, you better as heck watch out.

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