Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Top social convergence tech: at #10: Youtube

There is no doubt that we live in a very visual world. Picture and videos fly by us in an incessant flow of information. Emergency managers have caught on to the evocative power of video in particular.

There is no better illustration of the use of video in social convergence, than Youtube. That's why it's at the heart of this year's first entry in my holiday countdown. 

For many EM and first responder organizations, Youtube is primarily a very efficient emergency preparedness tool. Provided the content is up to par, chances are your audiences will view a cool video ... perhaps with a catchy tune. Of particular note is the now world-famous "dumb ways to die" video .... Hey! My kids learned the words at school ! 

Years after it's use as a preparedness channel was introduced, some are just now jumping on the visual social bandwagon. And that's a good thing as some famous TV personality used to say ...

Youtube is a powerful public education tool in its own right as my friend Kim Stephens so eloquently explained. Youtube's cousins, Vimeo or the newcomer Vine, are also used effectively.

But the power of Youtube extends beyond EP. It's a great professional learning tool as well for the EM community ... to learn the basics of Twitter for example, or what social convergence means for crisis comms and EM.

But for me, a real illustration of the power of Youtube is the ability to amplify your message during a crisis. The platform gives organizations the ability to build on the strengths of traditional media. Not everyone can make it to your news conference ... why not tape it yourself and put it online for all your audiences to see?

And why stop there? Youtube offers you the ability to become your own broadcaster so you don't have to rely on media. It's their new livestream capability:  
 To me, that's now a critical element of any crisis comms response plan: the ability to tell your own story. Whether on Youtube or Ustream or LiveStream ... nothing beats being your own director.

For all the reasons above, Youtube sits at #10 in my list of top social convergence technologies or platforms.

Series introduction

Jim Garrow's blog 
Kim Stephen's blog

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