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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Social media and the Australian floods

I'm really fascinated by the role social media has played in recent days in informing audiences of the consequences of the flood in Queensland, Australia. Others are noticing too:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/social-networking-sites-reshape-crisis-coverage/story-e6frg6n6-1225985892291

The impact, economic, social and very personal in many cases, of this disaster will be felt for a long time. These pictures offer a glimpse of that. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/12/down_under_water?page=0,7

This piece from a traveler's info website is very informative on how social media picked up the ball (in a very crowdsourcing sense) when the websites for key organizations or agencies were "swamped" both figuratively and literally.
http://www.ausbt.com.au/information-for-business-travellers-on-the-queensland-floods

This illustrates a point I've made on this blog a few times. The communications response to a disaster is no longer the lone purview of emergency managers, government officials and business leaders. With mobile technologies and devices and social media platforms, thousands, millions of people, can share what they're witnessing or experiencing. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/49140/

You need to monitor that to give yourself broader situational awareness.
http://blogs.esri.com/Support/blogs/arcgisonline/archive/2010/09/22/cnn-social-media-situational-awareness-and-arcgis-online.aspx
Social media and mobile devices and technologies offer a brand new array of tools for EM professionals:
http://idisaster.wordpress.com/

In addition, people are also sharing how they feel about your response ... Again, monitoring social media is paramount now among the activities that must be undertaken by a PIO or within a JIC context.

So, it's very heartening to see agencies in the affected area, including the Queensland Police Service, realize the full potential of social media as emergency information tools. http://twitter.com/#!/QPSmedia

The feedback has been positive:
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/police-tweet-themselves-into-citys-good-books-20110111-19mp1.html

In summary, here's another example, along that of the Boulder Fires, the Haiti earthquake and a very few others, that illustrate the fact that social media are now part of all our lives and should be part of any comprehensive emergency management and crisis communications plan.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Patrice,
    Another great post and insightful read.
    You're spot on talking about "situational awareness," and as a crisis professional, w/out that feedback we're running w/ scissors in the dark.
    Your new fan,

    rv
    http://about.me/vorhaus

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