Alerts and Warnings in Social Media. Denis Gusty Alerts and Warnings Program Manager First Responder Group Science and Technology Directorate U.S. Department of Homeland Security January 12, 2011. Current State: Trends and Data Background and Outcomes Methodology: Research Approach
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Alerts and Warnings Program Manager
First Responder Group
Science and Technology Directorate
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
January 12, 2011
Background and Outcomes
Methodology: Research Approach
CNR Annual Program Status Review 8 February 2005
SOURCE: “Internet Trends” presentation from June, 2010 by Mary Meeker, Scott Devitt, and Liang Wu. http://www.morganstanley.com/institutional/techresearch/pdfs/MS_Internet_Trends_060710.pdf
DHS S&T provides research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) services to DHS operational components and the state and local homeland security community.
S&T is developing emergency responder-focused projects on behalf of local, state, tribal, federal, and international stakeholder organizations.
This program was developed in conjunction with S&T’s First Responder Working Group, which represents the range of first responder issues in homeland security.
In response to stakeholder input, this specific program explores how the emergency response community uses social media to alert and warn the public and how they can use these tools better and more effectively moving forward.
Developing a best practices guide for alerting and warning the public through social media
Creating white papers on aggregation and analysis
Creating a series of behavioral experiments on college campuses to measure behavioral responses to alerts via social media
Hosting a Privacy and Security Workshop
The primary research approach is to conduct formal interviews with >50 members of the emergency management community
Interviewees include police, fire, EMS, public information officers, and other emergency management practitioners
Interviewees represent geographic diversity (all regions of the U.S.), as well as diversity of size (spanning from small, rural counties to large, heavily populated cities), and diversity of experience with social media
As of January 1, 2011, over 20 interviews were complete
Geographic Distribution of Interviewees
Web-based guide for the emergency response community to enable the better use of social media for alerts and warnings
Collection of case studies, best practices, and analyses on:
Origination of alerts and warnings through social media
Dissemination of alerts and warnings through social media
1. Origination content to include:
Messages that lead to the desired outcome
Citizen engagement strategies
2. Dissemination content to include:
The appropriate medium to choose
Content & Analysis
Preliminary Findings enable the better use of social media for alerts and warnings
Case Study TwitPic From Discovery Building enable the better use of social media for alerts and warnings
SOURCE: “Twitter breaks story on Discovery Channel gunman” from September, 2010 by Paul Farhi.
1. How does your agency currently use social media to alert and warn the public?
How do you create messages that get citizens to take the intended action?
How do you choose the most appropriate medium for different types of messages?
2. What obstacles have you faced when trying to implement social media programs at your agency?
3. How does your agency want to use social media in the future?
If there were no obstacles, what would you do with social media?
4. What would be the most helpful information for you in this guidance?
5. With a current focus on origination and dissemination of alerts, what else deserves focus in future iterations of the guidance?