Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies

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CRC Press, Sep 20, 2011 - Computers - 329 pages
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Although recent global disasters have clearly demonstrated the power of social media to communicate critical information in real-time, its true potential has yet to be unleashed. Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies teaches emergency management professionals how to use social media to improve emergency planning, preparedness, and response capabilities. It provides a set of guidelines and safe practices for using social media effectively across a range of emergency management applications.

Explaining how emergency management agencies can take advantage of the extended reach these technologies offer, the book supplies cutting-edge methods for leveraging these technologies to manage information more efficiently, reduce information overload, inform the public, and ultimately save lives. Filled with real-world examples and case studies, it is an ideal self-study resource. Its easy-to-navigate structure and numerous exercises also make it suitable for courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  

From crowdsourcing and digital volunteers to mapping and collective intelligence, Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies facilitates a clear understanding of the essential principles of social media. Each chapter includes an example of a local-level practitioner, organization, or agency using social media that demonstrates the transformative power of social media in the real world. The book also includes numerous exercises that supply readers with models for building their own social media sites and groups—making it a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the communication and information structures supported by social media.

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About the author (2011)

Connie White earned her PhD in Information Systems from the College of Computing Sciences at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. White is a Research Fellow in the Crisis Communications Research Project, School of Media Arts, Columbia College Chicago, Illinois. She is also the director of Information Technology Solutions for Emergency Management (ITSFEM), an education and consultation firm. She has published work in the Journal of Emergency Management (JEM), The International Association of Emergency Manager’s Bulletin (IAEM), and the International Journal for Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRA M).

Her current work explores how collaborative applications, social media, Free and Open Source Systems, and Web 2.0 technologies can be leveraged together to support the decision-making needs of crisis managers. Another research focus is in using spatial-temporal geographical information systems and social media to help provide information on the outer rural areas that have the least amount of connectivity through crisis mapping. Other research efforts explore using virtual worlds, such as Second Life, as a teaching tool for practitioners. Her dissertation, A Dynamic Delphi System to Support Decision Making by Large Groups of Crisis Management Experts, focused on the creation of a crisis management system that is used by large groups dispersed geographically where decisions must be made under uncertainty and among domain driven subgroups. The end result of this effort produced an application contributed to the Sahana Disaster Management System, Eden, a free and open source system created in response to the Asian tsunami (which has been used all over the world), most recently in the Haiti earthquake response, and the floods of Pakistan. Her research interests include social media, decision making, scales, Sahana, Thurstone’s law of comparative judgment, artificial intelligence, and emergency management. Her homepage is

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