Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Making Social Media work for you

From the Secret List, here's a note involving Social Media during Hurricane Sandy:

As Sandy slammed the Northeast yesterday, one woman from the FDNY monitored Twitter through the night to help people in need. Emily Rahimi, a seven-year veteran at the FDNY, kept New Yorkers updated on developments from a storm that flooded many parts of the city Monday night through the official department Twitter feed. In more than 100 tweets, Rahimi, who was still working at her desk on Tuesday morning, replied to cries for help sent out on the social media service, passed along updates from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and followed up when New Yorkers posted tweets of thanks. Pretty cool. Check it out HERE:
HERE is the link to FFCC Twitter Alerts: 

Obviously, New York City would fall in that area where 69% of their population would expect their government to be on Twitter.  

Are you using Twitter to engage those you serve?  If not, maybe a Virtual Operations Support Team can help.

Are you willing to investigate before your next disaster?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Popular #SMEM tool going offline

Timely is shutting down on November 16th
Timely started as a fun side project back in 2010.
Since then it has grown to help tens of thousands of people publish millions of Tweets and Facebook updates.
We're proud of that. And happy we could help you manage your hectic world of social media.
Unfortunately we haven't been giving Timely much attention recently as we've been focusing on Demandforce's paid products.
So me, Assaf and David have made the hard decision to retire Timely.

Starting November 16th you will no longer be able to access your Timely account.
When we launched Timely almost 2 years ago there were no other tools that would automatically figure out the best time for a Tweet to go out.
Thankfully there are some great alternatives today such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
Thank you so much for being a part of the Timely story,
Ethan Bloch
Co-Creator of Timely

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sometimes, it's better to listen

but often folks want to talk.

It's fun listening to AM radio.  For member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, there's nothing quite like the sound that comes from the speakers.

However, member of QCWA are getting older.  The nursing homes don't readily accommodate ham radio operators.

Thus, there are sites like the W4AX remote that lets one tune a receiver so that they can listen to their old friends talk.  There are also other sites connected to the Software Define Radios and Global Tuners that allows listening.  No account required at the former.  The latter has both paid and free receivers.

What does your signal sound like in London?  Are you making it all the way to Colorado?  

While the American Radio Relay League offers a page devoted to AM, the Collins AM Radio Net is one of the more entertaining.

For two-way communication from the nursing home, don't forget that the walkie-talkie will hit the local repeater.  Also, more and more are finding Echolink on their smart phones. 

Sometimes it's better to listen.  How are you doing with that?


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Do I really NEED to use social media? #VOST

At the recent Oklahoma Emergency Management Conference breakout session on Social Media, that burning question was asked.

The short answer given was "No".  No one HAS to use social media.  Nevertheless 69% of folks surveyed said they expected someone to be there to answer.

Having a plan for using social media use is more important that the tools that support the plan.  Decide before you make a Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Google+ account what the account mission will be.

As was pointed out in the conference, social media has three uses:

1.  Team Building
2.  Intelligence Gathering
3.  Information distribution

One of the presenters reminded students of the Incident Command System ICS-300 training.  Where does Social Media fit into ICS?

First place it can fit is in Public Information Officer land.  It's media.  It requires monitoring.  Therefore, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  would be another stream next to CNN, FOX, local Radio, Television, and newspaper.

The second place it could fit is in the Operations Section in intelligence.  Law Enforcement want their intelligence folks in operations to cut down the delay.  After all, the Occupy Wall Street folks used social media.  Would it not be proper to monitor their communications?

The third place to put Social Media would be in the Planning Section, again as an intelligence unit.  This is the "traditional" disaster place for it.

Now that one decides to use social media.  One decision point now is "how to do it".

If a "roll your own" approach is needed, the folks at Social Media for Emergency Management can help.  There one will find a lot of mentoring help, lessons applied, and new strategies being developed.

Still don't have time?  Then there's the Virtual Emergency Support Team concept.  There one will find teams ready to help with specific missons, ex. wildfire, ice storms, tornados, hurricanes, etc.

Either way, are you on the road to using Social Media?

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