Social Media are getting some respect

Posted by Claire B. Rubin

Emergency Social Data Summit Highlights the Role of Social Media During Crises. Huffington Post, August 16. This article provides some useful segments of the presentations as well as a summary of the conference.

Last week, the Red Cross Emergency Social Data Summit in Washington, D.C. presented strong evidence that social media has grown up. Hearing those digital cries for help  now means listening to what people say and share on Twitter, Facebook and crowdsourcing platforms like Ushahidi, and then reacting. “We can no longer afford to work at the speed of government, said BrianHumphrey  … [with] he Los Angeles Fire Department….

New research from the Red Cross …shows that Web users increasingly rely on social media to seek help in a disaster. “As social media becomes more a part of our daily lives, people are turning to it during emergencies as well,” said FEMA Adminstrator Fugate.  “We need to utilize these tools, to the best of our abilities, to engage and inform the public, because no matter how much federal, state and local officials do, we will only be successful if the public is brought in as part of the team.”

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