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Twitter in the 2011 Queensland Floods (and Beyond)
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Twitter in the 2011 Queensland Floods (and Beyond)


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Part 2 of a workshop presented at the Disaster Resilient Communities Conference, Melbourne, 19 Apr. 2012.

Part 2 of a workshop presented at the Disaster Resilient Communities Conference, Melbourne, 19 Apr. 2012.

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  • 1. Twitter in the 2011 Queensland Floods(and Beyond)Assoc. Prof. Axel BrunsARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbane,
  • 2. The Queensland Floods Communityo Self-organisation: o Rapid establishment of #qldfloods hashtag o Ad hoc development of community structures o Highlighting of leading accounts, vigilant against disruption o Suspension of petty squabbles (e.g. state politics)o Innovation and rapid prototyping: o Adjunct hashtags (#Mythbuster, #bakedrelief) o Sharing and gathering of online resources o Additional tools (Google Maps, Ushahidi Maps) o 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 (
  • 3. Major Information Sources Remain Important@sunriseon7 @couriermail @612brisbane @QPSMedia @abcnews
  • 4. Crises on Twitter: Find, Share, Retweet
  • 5. Just the Facts: Selective Retweeting
  • 6. What Links Are Shared?
  • 7. What Do Users Tweet About during a Crisis?
  • 8. Content Patterns: #qldfloods vs. @QPSMedia
  • 9. Retweet Rates in @QPSMedia Conversations
  • 10. Beyond the Queensland Floodso Further outlook: o Need to build on #qldfloods experience o Maintain momentum of @QPSMedia and other lead accounts o Review what did/didn’t work, improve communication strategies o Analyse and work with community communication patternso Cultivate potential lead users: o Who (institutions / individuals) was most active / influential? o How can they be identified as crises unfold? o Are they the usual suspects (e.g. community leaders), or not? o How stable are such communication structures? Will social media use look similar next time around?
  • 11. #eqnz: Number of Unique Users Discussing the 2010/11 Earthquakes
  • 12. #eqnz: Contribution by Different User Groups (22 Feb.-7 Mar.)
  • 13. #eqnz: Contribution by Different User Groups in Each Event
  • 14. #eqnz: Visibility of Leading Accounts in Each Event
  • 15. Twitter and the Christchurch Earthquakeo Towards better strategies for social media in disasters: o February 2011 earthquake building on lessons learnt in September 2010 o #eqnz and key Twitter accounts already established o Several key accounts sharing the load and dividing responsibilities o More sophisticated use of Twitter by residents and authoritieso Clear shift in attention after the immediate rescue phase: o Marked differences in list of most @replied/retweeted accounts o Some tracking of current problems / issues / fears may be possible o Decline in overall tweet volume / diversification of #hashtags?
  • 16. Where to from Here?o #hashtags: o Useful coordinating mechanism for core communication o Relatively easy to track and analyse o Important for message dissemination by key authorities o Crowdsourcing situational information from the community? o Fails to capture non-hashtagged tweets about the topic o Need more comparative data – how do hashtags work in different crisis situations?o Twitter (and social media) as additional communication channels: o Tracking Twitter activities to identify weak crisis signals early on? o Use of Twitter by emergency organisations outside of crisis situations? o Twitter use for long-term preparedness, resilience, and recovery? o Institutional resourcing, positioning, training and evaluation?
  • 17.