Steve Jobs-quotes

The table is nearly set.

And you have a formal invitation to join us on 11/11/15 as we celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the first use of the #SMEM hashtag (which stands for Social Media in Emergency Management).

…read more

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Your Responsibility


In recent weeks, I’ve been working on drafting social media policies for several new organizations that I work or volunteer with. And while each organization uses social media differently, one common thread has been evident in each organizational training:

User Responsibility

While an organization can easily say “here is how we will engage in social media,” it is important to realize that your employees, your volunteers and your social media administrators will all contribute to your agency’s reputation in the social space.

But you cannot assume that all of your employees or volunteers understand how to most appropriately engage in social media. This …read more

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Where is Waldo?


You may think that I’ve disappeared from the #SMEM scene as of late, thanks to the lack of updates on this blog. However, that is not the case.

What is true is that I’ve been busy working on a number of projects which have been just a little more behind the scenes, but now is a good time to resurface for a brief moment and chat about these endeavors.

  • New Job: As you may remember, I moved from the emergency management profession and into a 9-1-1 technology career. While still mystifying for some, the next huge phase in the 9-1-1 community is …read more

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Questions for Big Data


I am a huge fan of social media and an even bigger fan of emergency response.

And, as capabilities expand in the realm of social media, I’m beginning to struggle with the role of big data in emergency response.

Yes, every day, we have increasing access to types of data as emergency response agencies.

We have GIS data layers that cover many different types of layers from critical infrastructure to vulnerable populations. We have cameras that monitor public spaces. We have river sensors that report flooding. You name it, a data layer can be created for it.

The problem is our humanity. How much …read more

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Politics & Social Media


Yes, this blog has been quiet.

No, that doesn’t mean I’ve wandered away from social media.

For the past 2 months, I’ve been living behind a Facebook Page alias and supporting a local political campaign.

And, if you really want to know what managing an emergency might feel like on social media, join a locally controversial political campaign. It can be difficult to simulate the amount of traffic, engagement and rumors when you are preparing to handle emergency events, but politics can provide an excellent microcosm of a crisis environment.

Some of the key things that you will learn are:

Engaging with Facebook


This past week, I had the opportunity to chat with a community group who wanted to learn more about how to spread its message on Facebook.

And, for most emergency situations, we don’t ever worry about how to spread our messages because people actively crave information during times of crisis.

This means that good information about emergency responses spreads quickly, but how does one spread messages on Facebook when there isn’t an active emergency? What about those public education campaigns about preparedness? Do you ever feel frustrated that your non-emergency messages aren’t seeming to get much traction?

Let’s chat about a few …read more

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Take Action To Prepare!


Today, we sit on the eve of September 1st which is the 10th Year of…..

National Preparedness Month!

This month is focused on getting people to think about and take action towards becoming better prepared.

For many emergency service organizations, event planning is underway for various community events, CERT trainings and open houses to put services and activities on display.

And although being prepared is EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY, there are still just a handful of events that everyone can participate in through the avenue of social media.

They include….

Be Strategic!


Writing a social media strategy does not have to be long and complicated.

I am always surprised when people tell me that they have no strategy. And while it seems comfortable to a fair number of businesses to “wing it” and see what “comes naturally,” that rarely works for long.

Initially, people will have ideas for their social media posts, but after a while, they grow tired or become unsure about what types of messages to post on their social accounts.

A simple exercise can step you through the basic questions that all leadership teams should consider as they draft their social strategy.

These …read more

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