I’ve Fallen and I’m Going to Tweet
Posted by oliver550
When I read the article “Tweeting an Ethos” by Bowden, I couldn’t help but think of the early 1990’s Life Call commercial of the grandma laying on the floor of her bathroom. While laying next to the tub, Mrs. Fletcher hits the button around her neck and the receiver by her phone turns on. The guy at Life Call answers and asks what her emergency is, she says “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”. Parodies, songs, and spoofs ensue and good times are had by all. What if Mrs. Fletcher hit a button and a tweet went out? Would this work? Is it more or less effective than trying to yell to the voice box?
Regardless of Mrs. Fletcher’s options to make her emergency known, the topic of using social media during emergencies seems like a legitimate future. If I think about what I currently have at my disposal to get updates on a severe weather event, there are only a few options. There is the news, the emergency broadcast system on both TV and the radio, and there are the sirens outside. If the power goes out, the TV is not an option, the radio is gone without a battery backup option, and the sirens warn, but carry no other information. As long as your phone has batteries, and even if the power goes out, your vehicle can always charge the phone, you are linked to a stream of information. The only problem would be how to sift through all of the information and get to what pertains to you.
In the article, they broke down different categories of tweets for Hurricane Irene. The question I have is how would you get to the information that helped you most at the moment that you needed it. Its nice to have road closures tweeted, but how many roads were closed? I would guess more than a few. Its wonderful to be able to donate or help out, but how would you know where to go (assuming it was time sensitive)? Twitter and the tweeters may have already figured this out, but it would seem necessary to put something a little more specific than #hurricaneirene on your tweet. For a midwest weather event, would it make sense to go by county, city, neighborhood, or could you break it down by street? Are there enough people on Twitter to give an accurate and helpful account to all areas?
If I remember correctly, most people in this class don’t have twitter. If your city tweeted weather events, road closures, or news that would impact the city’s citizens, would you be more apt to subscribe and set up a Twitter account? If they used Facebook, would that make a difference?
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