Social Media and Emergency Management

Two very interesting articles in the May 2011 issue of Natural Hazards Observer, Vol. 35, No. 5:

Building a Better Mousetrap, an invited comment by Connie White, page 7

Social media networks have seized the world’s attention, especially as organizing and information tools in response to crises. … Since the Haiti earthquake, they’ve been used to effectively share information to distribute relief supplies and provide medical services.  … But while the responses in many of the examples above came about spontaneously, the emergency management community can’t rely on chance to incorporate this type of communication. It must be integrated into the communities of practice that already exist, and doing so means emergency managers need to be creative.

Social Media: From Dictators to Damage Control, by Dan Whipple, page 11

Social media is the hot new thing. There are several examples in which crowdsourcing of information via the Internet has proven effective, ranging from dancing “flash mobs” to overthrowing dictators. But social media enthusiasts can be a little too quick to point out the successes, and too slow to acknowledge the failures. The Internet can serve the needs of the dictators as well as the populace. Its practical use in effective emergency management is promising, but still has issues.

For full text of these articles, visit: 


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