Wednesday, February 27, 2013

When do you use Social Media?

As readers will know, I have been a huge fan of social media when it is used as part of a plan in part of the toolbox.

As a stand-alone tool, it has shown value and failure.

This study, from Germany, traces messages as they "propagate" around the Internet.  The title, A Measurement-driven Analysis of Information Propagation in the Flickr Social Network, provided at least one disturbing finding:

We also find that 
information spreads slowly in the network; even the most popular photos exhibit a slow, steady growth in popularity over a long 

period of time (1-2 years).

This is not comforting, if one is relying on social media for timely, accurate accounting of what is happening where.  Preppers say "When seconds count, response is minutes away".  This is an example of when a delay in the warning process may cause a problem during extreme events.

For example, during a recent tornado warning, one National Weather Service office tweeted:

This is a serious situation for Snyder OK. Large tornado! If you know someone there, tell them to take cover NOW!! 

The result was a number of retweets, some as late at two hours after the fact.

As has already been discussed, Social Media is a good tool.  Please have three ways to get information from trusted sources.

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