The "Social Media in An Emergency: A best practice guide" is the first complete and definitive (as much as anything can be thus classified in social media ...) how-to basic guide for those planning to use social networks as part of their emergency management program. The guide's creation was overseen by the Greater Wellington Regional Council in New Zealand and much of its content was derived from real-life experiences such as the Christchurch earthquake and Queensland (Australia) flooding.
The guide is written in a clear language style, is easy to use and broken down in "digestible" chunks. Its accompanying fulsome literature review is also a must read. The document was reviewed by contributors from many countries to ensure its relevance.
Another aspect that makes it readily usable is that the authors looked for what had been done and experimented with across the globe to come up with the recommended practices. This includes references to the work my colleague Barry Radford and I did for PTSC-Online in integrating social media into crisis and emergency communications.
For this breakthrough in making SMEM a more easily understood component of emergency management practices, the publication of the guides sits in the third spot in my top 10 list of SMEM-related events of the year.
#10: the Israel-Hamas War (Dec. 9, 2012)
#9: the wildfires in the western US (Dec. 12, 2012)
#8: the SMEMTO conference (Dec. 16, 2012)
#7: the lauch of FEMA's SMEM course (Dec. 17, 2012)