How is social media changing government agencies? Flickr: Seansie
Government agencies have adopted this mindset to varying degrees as a way to foster trust and dialogue with people. At the most basic level, social media is about community building. Flickr: kevindooley
In 2008, Admiral Thad Allen of the U.S. Coast Guard sent out a service-wide message saying, “[To] modernize the Coast Guard we must learn how to effectively use social media tools to enhance our ability to perform as a more transparent, change-centric organization.”
At the Bellevue Police Department in Nebraska, Twitter is used to solicit help from the public and Facebook is used as a comment and complaint board for residents.
Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Twitter Earthquake Detector (@USGSTed) is a prototype that gathers real-time Twitter updates during seismic activities faster than scientific equipment can be tapped for more precise measurements and alerts.
Could Twitter Provide Early Warnings For Epidemics? Based on their findings, they believe that Twitter could be a valuable tool to help individuals find nearby emergency medical personnel. By monitoring Twitter trends, they believe health officials can better detect and respond to an epidemic.