Here's how it started:
- with the proper search/monitoring procedures (keywords, hashtags, geo-fenced searches), agencies can get a pretty good sample of tweets/social posts to discern trends, identify rumours, etc .... often with the support of digital volunters (VOSTs come to mind)
- In the current state of the adoption of #smem by emergency managers ... there is simply no demand to get the whole data set ... to most in the EM community ...it'd just be noise ... that's where digital volunteers come into play.
- validate emergency information put out by an agency (are people doing what you want them to do ? )
- detect rumours/misinformation that could pose a threat to public safety/public health
- identify and route through appropriate channels, calls for assistance (although you won't see them all ... you need a process in place to have it go to the right place)
- detect reputation threats that could impede the agency's ability to respond (like key influencers criticizing your response or calling out senior executives or elected officials)
- to enhance your situational awareness (gather social inter via posts, pictures, videos that people share when they witness an incident/disaster)