Thursday, September 9, 2010

Four mile canyon wildfire and social media

An interesting development over the last few days has been the part that social media has played in providing information for people affected by the Four Mile Canyon wildfire. There have been a number of news reports about including one in the Denver Post, as well as in blogs such as OSM. Of particular interest is the general lack of satisfaction with the reverse 911 system contrasted with satisfaction with a variety of social media provisions from the simple (searching for the #boulderfire tag on Twitter) to the more involved (Google map showing fire bounds, fires, etc) and forums to help people recover, particularly Sparkplace Forum and FourMileFireHelp. Also, based on the reported usage statistics, several hundred people at any one time were listening to the live audio feeds of emergency services radio traffic. Indeed my blog posting listing some of these resources got a huge number of hits and was posted in various places such as the Gold Hill Government site: perhaps there is as much need for such sites which aggregate resources "on the fly" as there is for the social media resources themselves. I think there are many interesting dimensions to this whole movement. Emergency managers and public safety officials as a whole do need to embrace all of these resources, and maybe can act as a curator of them in some way (e.g. posting the most useful on official sites, and helping filter out misinformation).

Update Sep 14. True to my interest in social media aggregation, here are some of the articles that I have found on Social Media in the Boulder fire. Please leave a comment or email me if you know of more!

No comments:

Post a Comment