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« Cloud computing and business continuity | Main | Liability: Words Can Hurt You May 2011 »



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Twitter is definitely one of those, you get out of it what you're willing to put into it sort of things. One of the things, for this casual user, that has brought me back to Twitter is the ability to list my feeds. I can pull up my news lists a couple times a day and see whats going on that's definitely not being covered on the cable news. I don't have much in the way of weather or emergency services, but I generally don't have those concerns here.

Lucien Canton

Definitely. The more you use it, the more useful it becomes. The advent of aggregator programs like Tweetdeck or Ushadi are definitely expanding its usefulness. The question for emergency managers, though, is how many people will we be able to reach reliably in a crisis. As popular as it is, it's still reaching only a small percentage of the public, hence my call for balance and not putting all our eggs in the social media basket.

How much are the Twitter feeds promoted before a crisis? I mean the weather guys here always remind viewers at the end of a report that you can get up-to-date information via Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps not only regular reminders that the emergency services have feeds but regular postings to those feeds might help. People tend to subscribe more when they see there is some regular-ish traffic to a feed. Also, if you can get connected to the local media and their Twitter lists, that would expand the follower base and help boost the signal.

Lucien Canton

Ah, you've actually put your finger on the problem. The feeds I've seen tend to be one-sided and irregularly updated. They also tend to get neglected during a real crisis. We're still using the old government mindset of providing information and distrusting citizen reports rather than attempting to be part of a dialogue. We've still got a long way to go!

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