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Social Media in Times of Crisis:
The Australian Perspective
Associate Professor Axel Bruns
Queensland University of Techno...
CRISIS COMMUNICATION RESEARCH AT QUT
o ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative
Industries & Innovation (national,
based at Q...
THE 2011 QUEENSLAND FLOODS
•

Chronology:
– December 2010 to January 2011: unprecedented rainfall
• Emergency declared for...
(ABC News)
(ABC News)
(news.com.au)
(ABC News)
(ABC News)
KEY CHALLENGES IN CRISIS COMMUNICATION
• Information dissemination:
– Crisis communication strategies of emergency service...
INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
THE QUEENSLAND FLOODS COMMUNITY
•

Self-organisation:
–
–
–
–

•

Rapid establishment of #qldfloods hashtag
Ad hoc develop...
#QLDFLOODS 2011: MOST VISIBLE USERS
#QLDFLOOD(S) 2013: MOST VISIBLE USERS
#EQNZ: VISIBILITY OF LEADING ACCOUNTS IN EACH EVENT
MESSAGE AMPLIFICATION ON TWITTER
JUST THE FACTS: SELECTIVE RETWEETING
WHAT LINKS ARE SHARED?
CRISIS EVENT COMPARISON

#qldfloods 2011
#qldfloods 2013
#eqnz 2011
#eqnz 2013
INFORMATION DISCOVERY
KEY CHALLENGES
• Identification:
– Unforeseen events: need to track more than keywords („big data‟)
– Potential to identif...
#QLDFLOODS FROM TOOWOOMBA TO BRISBANE
10 Jan 2011

11 Jan 2011

12 Jan 2011

13 Jan 2011

14 Jan 2011

15 Jan 2011
#EQNZ: KEY THEMES
#EQNZ: MENTIONS OF THE CTV BUILDING

Graph: Avijit Paul
(@cdtavijit); see
Paul & Bruns (2013)
SOCIAL MEDIA AND CRISIS COMMUNICATION
•

Social media research:
–
–
–
–

•

Develop better tools and metrics for evaluatin...
http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
@snurb_dot_info
@jeanburgess
@dpwoodford
@lena_sauter
@timhighfield
@cdtavijit

@socialme...
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Social Media in Times of Crisis: The Australian Perspective

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Paper presented at a Project EPIC symposium, Boulder, 23 Oct 2013.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Transcript of "Social Media in Times of Crisis: The Australian Perspective"

  1. 1. Social Media in Times of Crisis: The Australian Perspective Associate Professor Axel Bruns Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Australia @snurb_dot_info | http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  2. 2. CRISIS COMMUNICATION RESEARCH AT QUT o ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation (national, based at QUT) o Project: Media Ecologies & Methodological Innovation o New methods to understand the changing media environment o Role of social media, especially Twitter http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ o Project: Social Media in Times of Crisis o Focus on crisis communication o Partnerships with Queensland Department of Community Safety, Eidos Institute http://cci.edu.au/floodsreport.pdf
  3. 3. THE 2011 QUEENSLAND FLOODS • Chronology: – December 2010 to January 2011: unprecedented rainfall • Emergency declared for more than 50% of Queensland • Wivenhoe dam reaches 180% capacity – December 2010: Flooding in northern Queensland – January 2011: Floods in southeast Queensland • • • • 10 January 2011: flash flooding in Toowoomba 10 January 2011: „inland tsunami‟ in the Lockyer Valley 11 January 2011: flooding begins in Ipswich 12-16 January 2011: major flooding in Brisbane – January 2013: further minor flooding in parts of Brisbane
  4. 4. (ABC News)
  5. 5. (ABC News)
  6. 6. (news.com.au)
  7. 7. (ABC News)
  8. 8. (ABC News)
  9. 9. KEY CHALLENGES IN CRISIS COMMUNICATION • Information dissemination: – Crisis communication strategies of emergency services / emergency media organisations – Evaluating effectiveness and resonance – Maintaining public visibility of social media accounts outside of acute crisis situations • Information discovery: – (Early) detection of crisis events in social media feeds – Identification and evaluation of crisis-relevant information – Correlation of crowdsourced information with other crisis data
  10. 10. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
  11. 11. THE QUEENSLAND FLOODS COMMUNITY • Self-organisation: – – – – • Rapid establishment of #qldfloods hashtag Ad hoc development of community structures Highlighting of leading accounts, vigilant against disruption Suspension of petty squabbles (e.g. state politics) Innovation and rapid prototyping: – – – – Adjunct hashtags (#Mythbuster, #bakedrelief) Sharing and gathering of online resources Additional tools (Google Maps, Ushahidi Maps) Emergency services rapidly adopting social media tools (despite lack of established strategies)  „Go where they are‟ rather than „build it and they will come‟  See CCI Report: #qldfloods and @QPSMedia: Crisis Communication on Twitter in the 2011 South East Queensland Floods (http://cci.edu.au/floodsreport.pdf)
  12. 12. #QLDFLOODS 2011: MOST VISIBLE USERS
  13. 13. #QLDFLOOD(S) 2013: MOST VISIBLE USERS
  14. 14. #EQNZ: VISIBILITY OF LEADING ACCOUNTS IN EACH EVENT
  15. 15. MESSAGE AMPLIFICATION ON TWITTER
  16. 16. JUST THE FACTS: SELECTIVE RETWEETING
  17. 17. WHAT LINKS ARE SHARED?
  18. 18. CRISIS EVENT COMPARISON #qldfloods 2011 #qldfloods 2013 #eqnz 2011 #eqnz 2013
  19. 19. INFORMATION DISCOVERY
  20. 20. KEY CHALLENGES • Identification: – Unforeseen events: need to track more than keywords („big data‟) – Potential to identify emerging events from overall activity patterns • Evaluation: – Real? Hoax? Metaphor (“the bank has collapsed”)? – May need semantic analysis, user profiling, independent verification • Incorporation: – Correlation and integration with standard emergency data sources – Timeframes: how long until crowdsourced information expires?
  21. 21. #QLDFLOODS FROM TOOWOOMBA TO BRISBANE 10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011
  22. 22. #EQNZ: KEY THEMES
  23. 23. #EQNZ: MENTIONS OF THE CTV BUILDING Graph: Avijit Paul (@cdtavijit); see Paul & Bruns (2013)
  24. 24. SOCIAL MEDIA AND CRISIS COMMUNICATION • Social media research: – – – – • Develop better tools and metrics for evaluating social media communication In-depth analysis of communication patterns reveals how social media are used Real-time analytics: highlight key current issues, identify weak signals of crisis Monitor and improve effectiveness of social media communication strategies by emergency services Social media uses: – Inform, share, amplify, support, reassure, organise – Need to track and work with user community: follow their conventions (e.g. #eqnz hashtag) – Two-way communication where feasible – more than broadcast messages – Provide community with tools to self-organise for resilience
  25. 25. http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ @snurb_dot_info @jeanburgess @dpwoodford @lena_sauter @timhighfield @cdtavijit @socialmediaQUT – http://socialmedia.qut.edu.au/
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