Sunday, March 13, 2011

Social media and community resilience

Are social media platforms force multipliers (to adopt military speak) when it comes to community resilience?

The impact of disasters is immense on a country's infrastructure, economy and even more so on its people. We are now witnessing the truth in that in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The terrible videos we've seen tell tales of unimaginable destruction, yet ... people persevere.

Due in great part to the preparedness of the Japanese but also strong building codes and a cultural cohesion without equal, Nippon will endure.

Beyond the reasons above, I'd venture that another factor of community resilience is the growing importance of social media in disasters. By now, we all know the key role social media plays in channeling information to, and from, victims, families and authorities. Perhaps a less measurable contribution of social media, is the positive impact these effective communications tools have when many, if not all, other channels of info become unavailable.

You can still reach your family, friends, even call for help. Wouldn't that help ease the anxiety?

 I believe that's a factor that should be studied.

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