Reading the book Socail Media in Disaster Response (http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415817417/) by the author Liza Potts was very enlightening, but somewhat dry. I found the book to be somewhat repetitive, and uneasy to connect to. Even though there were some downfalls, she brought a good amount of important issues facing our global world today.
Liza discusses how new and upcoming web tools enable and disable practitioners and architects to address communication and information design across all cultures. Her initiative is to explain how not only one website works but multiple and how people use these to communicate during disasters.
Pottz says, “In times of disaster and crisis, people tend to gravitate toward the systems and networks that are most relevant and familiar to them.”
One example I found interesting is at the time of Hurricane Katrina. Although the hurricane slowed down government responses, this study shows how media organization along with relief organization online communities attempted to organize a missing persons list. What happens is activity erupts and dies down depending on how well participants can interact on the web space. Experience architects can use this information flow to locate missing people. These digital spaces prove far more successful at helping to reestablish communications for victims, friends, and their relatives.
Another topic Liza stresses is participation. Working to discover how participants locate relevant data is useful to understand how we can build social web systems that support find-ability and help knowledge work flow throughout an ecosystem. With this we can solve some the key problems such as closed systems that do not encourage participation. In order to this we need to reconnect Content and Context.
“For data to flow through ecosystems the technologies must be open and flexible enough for movement across these systems.”
Liza Potts discusses many other useful categories throughout the book. These are just some that I found the most interesting. It is useful to know how information flows during a social disaster not only does it benefit the government but it benefits the victims themselves, due to the fact that many times they are saved or reunited with their loved ones.
Social Media in Disaster Response is not one of my favorite books in the entire world, but it sure did inform about a topic I was never even aware about. Potts is an intelligent writer who really nailed this on the head!