Tag Archives: Twitter

Guest blog post: Dr Axel Bruns – social media and emergencies

From the Queensland floods to the Christchurch earthquake and the tsunami in Japan, the major disasters which we’ve already experienced during these first few months of 2011 have already demonstrated that social media has now found a place in emergency management. Social media is not replacing existing media, of course, but providing an important additional channel both for sharing information about the crisis itself, as well as for gathering first-hand information from those directly affected by the it. Managed appropriately, social media can become an important tool for emergency authorities and local residents alike.

In the Mapping Online Publics research project at Queensland University of Technology, we’re interested in the use of social media (including blogs, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr) by Australians in general, and during acute events in particular. Based in Brisbane, we’ve experienced first-hand the role of Twitter and Facebook during the recent floods in Queensland, and the excellent use made of those tools by the Queensland Police Service in particular, and we’ve continued to track the role of Twitter in Christchurch and Japan as well as in other emergency situations.

To do so, we’ve also developed a range of innovative new research methods for tracking, capturing, and analysing social media activities around specific events and issues, and we’re working with a number of national and international partners to further develop and apply these methodologies. Already, we’re able to track the evolution of crisis events on Twitter on an almost real-time basis, and we’re looking to apply those insights in working with emergency authorities to further enhance their strategies for using social media platforms as part of their overall emergency media responses.

I’m looking forward to finding out more from the EMPA community about how they’re currently approaching social media, and how we might collaborate on further approaches. In the meantime, please feel free to visit our project website for a snapshot of our research activities.

— Axel , @snurb_dot_info, http://www.mappingonlinepublics.net/

Dr Axel Bruns is an Associate Professor at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, and will deliver at paper at the EMPA conference on tracking crises in social media.

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Guest blog post: Simon Kelly – Queensland Police Service social media use

The world has changed post floods and cyclones. The devastation was tragic and widespread throughout Queensland, with many communities still trying to recover.

The impact for the Queensland Police Service (QPS) Media and Public Affairs Branch has also been significant. Our use of social media during these crises has been well documented, but what happens next?

We established Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts last year to ensure we had an online community of followers before a disaster occurred. Little were we to know natural disasters of such magnitude were just around the corner, or that so many people would turn to our social media accounts for information in a crisis.

At the EMPA conference, I’ll give some brief insights into the incredibly rapid growth of our social media accounts during the crises, how we managed them and how we were able to improve our service to the media and community through the use of social media. I will also touch on where we go from here as the QPS looks to the future of managing large communities of online followers.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it – check us out on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, @QPSmedia.

-Simon Kelly

Simon is the Acting Deputy Director, Queensland Police Service Media and Public Affairs Branch and will deliver a paper at the EMPA conference on Queensland Police Service’s use of social media during the recent Queensland floods.

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How we use social media during emergencies

 Here is a great little article and infographic from mashable.com on how we use social media during emergencies. The data is from a US Red Cross survey taken last year, but Victoria’s CFA get a mention! Follow them on Twitter: @CFA_Updates and @CFA_Connect.

-Nathan

Twitter: @nathanmaddock

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#qldfloods and #vicfloods

Craig Thomler is a federal public servant who works within the Department of Health and Aging. He has worked in various roles within the online industry since 1995, and as such has a wealth of knowledge on his blog. I heard him speak about gov2.0 late last year, and while he was preaching to the converted, he was a captivating speaker, offering various insights on web2.0 generally, as well as govt2.0 and social media communications. Well worth reading his blog and following him on Twitter.

In a roundabout way, that brings me to the purpose of this post, the Queensland floods, social media and particularly the Queensland Police Media Twitter account, @QPSmedia and their Facebook page. So much has been written about their efforts throughout #qldfloods, so visit Craig’s blog for his post on how Queensland Police demonstrated best practice emergency communications via social media. There are some links in there to some great articles about Queensland Police and their social media use in there too.

Sandeep (@DizzyDeep) remarked to me today that the Queensland floods will go down as the way to conduct emergency communications via social media, and I think he is right.

Victorian also suffered record flooding over January 2011, and Victoria Police also showed us another best practice example of how to engage in emergency communications via social media, with their Twitter account @VictoriaPolice providing updates and advice throughout the floods.

-Nathan
Twitter: @nathanmaddock

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