Thursday, November 21, 2013

The New Reality: Emergency Management Needs To Completely Embrace Social Media.

Emergency Management follows the rest of society. The Citizen Reporter is a fact. 

Information goes viral and spreads horizontally. Not using  social media as an output is missing many opportunities. Not using them as an imput is denying reality. 

Reality is a function of the information on people, facts and places that reaches us: Communication expands reality. Conversation shapes Society. Just like the drums did in Africa, the smoke signals in China, and the light signals from airships, or the flags from boat to boat, and the messenger pigeons since ages. You can only take into account the information that reaches you. Not using the medium, means less information (which for Emergency Managers, is not acceptable). If a new medium finds its way into society, it changes reality. 

Social media are doing this profoundly. Not embracing it, just because of it imperfections, would be loosing contact with society. 

We've got to keep up with the Joneses. Even if  it means rethinking a lot of existing conventions. 

Social media are changing the way society and people are functioning in such a profound way, that we will only afertwards be able to understand. 
And believe me, a past without social media, will someday be harder to understand (for your grandchildren), than a past without radio. 
Times they are a changin!
And for Emergency Managers, probably more than you're thinking right now ...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Humanisation of #SMEM and #VOST by #QCRI and @PatrickMeier.


I'm quite impressed by @PatrickMeier and #QCRI. But not in the way I expected. Like many, I read his iRevolution.net blog posts eagerly, as they contain not only their more than interesting views and reports, but also views on and references to the work of so many others working in the same wonderland of a (battle)field.

I think QCRI spoils us with interesting stuff, in the sense that we’re not easily dazzled anymore. But in his last post, Mr. Meier did something remarkable, and possibly even more game changing than the work he does itself. He was able to do something that really matters, from a professional point of view, and also impacts many other efforts done in the sector of #CrisisCommunication, and #SocialMedia in Adverse Events in General:  He humanized the process.

His last effort, and the way it is realized and reported, gives an understandable overview, of how any everyday person with a smartphone can finally do something that matters.
Most certainly, and very hopefully, there will be many more occasions like this. But when technology is brought so close to you and me (and I mean “everyone” …), it usually helps the whole sector to be understood better by the critical, skeptical and omnipresent society we know today.

And therefore, I offer my sincere congratulations on two fronts, to @PatrickMeier and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (#QCRI), for the Humanization of #SMEM and #VOST. (Sorry, but these, you’ll have to Google, if they’re not familiar … There NOT about the movies, though…)

And the best of luck for the coming conference. It will be sizzling … (#ICCM2
013, http://crisismappers.net/page/iccm-nairobi-2013)

Christophe LAURENT
spoedman@gmail.com