Internet is full of information. Every day, people share comments, pictures, videos, opinions and observations about what is going on in their world. They will react and interact with information that may be important to an emergency response. Monitoring includes observation, listening and filtering this information into usable chunks for the future. It means you have to tune into the signal and make the information worth listening to.
Traps catch information. Traplines are basic things that you might search periodically or set notification triggers so that you receive notice that there is new information available.
Students should notice that each one of these sources will yield different results which add to the overall picture. Essentially, monitoring still requires human intervention and review. There is no ONE system that will yield all results. Best way to manage these include periodically checking your key words through several of these sources. Ensuring that you are regularly checking the same words is important among those who are tasked with monitoring social media.
Session 4: Social Media Monitoring & VOST
1. Define Social Media Monitoring
2. Explain why Monitoring Is
3. How to Set UpYour “Traplines”
4. UsingVirtual SupportTeams
Social Media ~ UsingWeb-Based tools to
network, share information, congregate with
Data Mining ~ Sifting through large amounts
of data to find actionable information.
Can Provide Clarity During
the Fog ofWar
Your Messages May be
Public Can BeYour Ally
DefineObjectives ~What AreYou Looking For?
Where &What DoYouWant to Monitor?
Prioritize & Filter Information
Does the answer already exist within talking points?
Does the issue require more research?
Who should be involved in determining the answer?
What are the implications if the issue is ignored?
Context is King
Understand Spoofs & Fake Information
If it sounds “too good to be true…”
Warns of impending doom?
Verify via www.snopes.com
Know how your community is
talking about an event.
Gather all hashtags!
The # sign makes a word independently searchable
onTwitter and is called a hashtag.
Two ways hashtags are used:
To gather topics under one word
Used as “thought bubbles” by speakers
You’ve defined your mission, know where you
are searching, so what areTraplines?
Geocoded Searches: Where you put in the
Latitude/Longitude intoTwitter and see what is
being shared around a particular location.
Social Media Aggregators: Where you use search
bars and manually put in your “search term.”
Example = www.IceRocket.com or www.Topsy.com
Alerts: Information PingsYou when your “search
term” is found.
Example = GoogleAlerts or newly emergingTwitter Alerts
To use Google Alerts:
Go to www.google.com/alerts and fill out the
If you are looking for multiple words, use
“quotation marks” around the words or phrase.
May be time-delays in the results, up to a couple
May not be complete information
Real Simple Syndication (RSS) Feeds: On a
periodic basis, the internet is automatically
searched for new information from sites you are
interested in watching.
First, you set up a “Reader” which is essentially a
deposit place for your new information like
www.feedly.com or www.theoldreader.com
Then, you look for the RSS sign on a webpage, click
on it & copy the link.
Place the link in your “reader” as a new subscription
www.facebook.com/search for Facebook
Yahoo Pipes (more advanced tool) =
Check them out and search by keyword.
What do you notice?
www.TrendsMap.com will show
you what words are trending in
Tweets via map view. Log-in via
ReadTwitter Search by
Hootsuite provides tools for
monitoring via their pro
Go to www.trendsmap.com or
www.whatthetrend.com and look for trending
Choose one that seems like a news story.
Use other Aggregator tools to find out why that
word is trending.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Use daily top news stories to practice your
searching when you have a few free minutes.
Ask questions of others for tips, tricks and
Team of “Trusted agents,”
organized and directed by
VOST teams are given
social media and web-
based missions to manage
Ability to Focus on Web
Variety of Skills &
based on networks of
Ability to SeeTrends &
Provides a Filter for EM
Activations may vary and be subject to change based on pre arrangements with EM agencies.
Preparing a VOST Team
• Understand the Need
• Become Familiar with Social Media
• IdentifyTypes of Missions
• AchieveAgency Buy-In
• RecruitTeam Members
• Establish Protocols
For More Information:
Orange CountyVOST Creation
CRESA Field Operations Guide
VOST Support Resources