Emergency Social-Repeater System

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URL = http://eponymousx.com/blog/2007/08/26/mashups/emergency-social-repeater-system/


"It has already been substantiated that when an emergency occurs almost anywhere in the world, the first notification of the event occurs online among socially connected individuals using systems like Twitter.

Social groups of loosely aggregated individuals with similar interests, microcrowds as I’ve been calling them, or groupings as Stowe Boyd calls them, seem like an ideal communication channel for use in emergency situations. Microcrowds overlap and each have “pack leaders” or “social seeds” with deep downstream social connections in the form of followers or friends. The leaders in these groups are generally highly connected through the use of communication hardware like WAP phones and laptops with EVDO connections so highly important information can flow through the #microcrowd channel in near real-time.

If Chris Messina’s concept of hashmarks as an impromptu channel creation methodology is adopted in Twitter, then perhaps this can also be used to create a repeater system that binds together the alpha leaders of the largest social groupings and emergency response teams, thereby using the massive redundancy of social nets to ensure that important messages are broadcast far and wide.

Adding geo-context to the emergency message would be an important aspect to consider. Temporal-context would also need to be applied so that as the message ages, additional information and updates can be properly contextualized along the timeline of the disaster.

As our dated analog systems fall further behind the power and immediacy of social communication perhaps it’s time to propose an emergency social-repeater system, where emergency information can not only flow quickly, but flow to the people and systems which can possibly affect the speed of response teams and mitigate the negative effects of any disaster." (http://eponymousx.com/blog/2007/08/26/mashups/emergency-social-repeater-system/)


A Proposal to use Twitter

"I’ve been thinking a lot lately about new uses for Twitter, the popular SMS-messaging service, and I think the use of such mobile technology could be really useful in emergency situations like the one that struck Virginia Tech. Imagine if the school had created its own Twitter account and encouraged its students, faculty, and staff to sign up to the service and receive official updates on their cell phones. As soon as concrete information had come in about the shooting, administrators could’ve sounded an alert via Twitter, and people would’ve heard the news immediately. (In the illustration accompanying this post, I’ve imagined what such an alert might look like on the Twitter site.)

People have already started using Twitter to track earthquakes in the US, and I posted last week about how Thursday’s quake in Mexico was first reported by Twitter users. Why can’t this sort of rapid response too be harnessed for more sorts of emergency alert systems?" (http://trisignia.com/2007/04/17/twitter-and-the-virginia-tech-emergency/)

More Information

See also: http://www.rexblog.com/2007/07/09/17027/