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A help or a hindrance? The role of social media in natural disaster management.

A help or a hindrance? The role of social media in natural disaster management.

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Published by timboaltambo
The technological advancements in media and interconnectivity have opened new channels of communication. In recent years, social media have proven to be relevant tools for gathering information when disaster strikes. This research evaluates how social media are being used in natural disaster management communications. Analyzing from the conclusions of disaster management, communication and information technology experts, this research outlines the challenges social media pose and where they serve best in the disaster management process. Additionally, the outcomes from this analysis can serve as suggestions for disaster management organizations looking to develop a social media strategy.
The technological advancements in media and interconnectivity have opened new channels of communication. In recent years, social media have proven to be relevant tools for gathering information when disaster strikes. This research evaluates how social media are being used in natural disaster management communications. Analyzing from the conclusions of disaster management, communication and information technology experts, this research outlines the challenges social media pose and where they serve best in the disaster management process. Additionally, the outcomes from this analysis can serve as suggestions for disaster management organizations looking to develop a social media strategy.

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Published by: timboaltambo on Jul 26, 2011
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Bonn: June 17, 2011
International Media Studies Master’s Programme (M.A.)
Thesis Submittedin Partial Fulfillment of the Requirementsfor the Degree “Master of Art” (M.A.)
 „A Help or a Hindrance? The Role of Social Media in NaturalDisaster Management Communication“
Submitted on: 06.17.2011 by: Oscar Rafael Schlenker BalzaMatr.-Nr.: 9014507First supervisor: Dr. Katja SchuppSecond supervisor: Dr. Irene Quaile
 
Table of Contents
Abstract…………………………………………………………………………….....IIList of Tables and Figures ………………………………………………………… IIIList of Abbreviations ……………………………………………………………….IV
1
INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................1
1.1
S
OCIAL
M
EDIA
I
N
D
ISASTER
I
NFORMATION
:
M
OTIVATION
T
HEN
A
ND
N
OW
................................2
1.2
S
COPEAND
F
OCUS
......................................................................................................................................3
1.3
A
SSUMPTIONS
.............................................................................................................................................4
1.4
T
HESIS
S
TRUCTURE
....................................................................................................................................5
2
CORETERMS..................................................................................................................................6
2.1
D
ISASTER
M
ANAGEMENT
..........................................................................................................................6
 2.1.1
CommunicationAndCoordination.............................................................................................8
 2.1.2
InformationAndCommunicationTechnologiesForEmergencies...........................11
 2.1.3
DisasterReporting:FromTraditionalToDigitalMedia...............................................15 
2.2
C
ONCEPTUALIZING
S
OCIAL
M
EDIA
.......................................................................................................22
 2.2.1
WhatIsWeb2.0?.............................................................................................................................22
 2.2.2
Web2.0PrinciplesinDisasterManagement......................................................................24
 2.2.3
SocialMediaDefined.....................................................................................................................27 
2.3
T
HEORIES
A
PPLIED
T
O
D
IGITAL
C
OMMUNICATION
..........................................................................29
 2.3.1
MediumTheory2.0.........................................................................................................................30
 2.3.2
TheChallengesOfTheTripartiteNetworkSociety..........................................................34
3
SOCIALMEDIADEVELOPMENTINDISASTERMANAGEMENTCOMMUNICATION37
3.1
S
OCIAL
M
EDIA
T
OOLS
F
OR
D
ISASTER
M
ANAGEMENT
C
OMMUNICATION
....................................37
3.1.1
TheBlogAndItsEvolutionToTheTwitteringRevolution...........................................38
3.1.2
SocialNetworkingSites(SNS)...................................................................................................41
3.1.3
CollaborativeProjects…WhatIsAWiki?.............................................................................43
3.1.4
ContentCommunities:ITube,Youtube,WeAllTube......................................................45 
3.2
C
OORDINATING
G
ROUP
CMC
T
HROUGH
S
OCIAL
M
EDIA
.................................................................49
3.3
D
ISASTER
M
ANAGEMENT
C
OMMUNICATION
T
HROUGH
S
OCIAL
M
EDIA
......................................52
4
THEROLEOFSOCIALMEDIAINNATURALDISASTERMANAGEMENTCOMMUNICATION............................................................................................................................55
4.1
R
ESEARCH
M
ETHODS
.............................................................................................................................55
4.2
I
NTERVIEWS
.............................................................................................................................................57
4.2.1
SelectionOfExperts.......................................................................................................................57 
4.2.2
InterviewGuidelines......................................................................................................................61
4.2.3
InterviewProceduresAndTranscription.............................................................................62
4.3
I
NTERVIEW
A
NALYSIS
.............................................................................................................................63
4.3.1
 AnalysisDesign.................................................................................................................................63
4.3.2
CodingTree........................................................................................................................................65 
4.4
S
OCIAL
M
EDIA
SWOT
F
OR
D
ISASTER
M
ANAGEMENT
C
OMMUNICATION
...................................91
5
CONCLUDINGREMARKS.........................................................................................................99
6
WORKSCITED..........................................................................................................................102
7
 APPENDIX..................................................................................................................................108
 
 
A Help or a Hindrance? The Role of Social Media in Natural Disaster Management Communication
II.
 
Abstract
The technological advancements in media and interconnectivity have openednew channels of communication. In recent years, social media have proven to berelevant tools for gathering information when disaster strikes. This researchevaluates how social media are being used in natural disaster managementcommunications. Analyzing from the conclusions of disaster management,communication and information technology experts, this research outlines thechallenges social media pose and where they serve best in the disaster management process. Additionally, the outcomes from this analysis can serve assuggestions for disaster management organizations looking to develop a socialmedia strategy.

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