Friday, December 23, 2011

THE TOP 3: best in #smem ... the big reveal

Okay, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that my top three choices for the best destinations on social media in emergency management are bloggers. I'm a blogger. To me, blogs are still relevant as a way to focus interest, launch discussions and make signification contributions. Coupled with social media savvy ... blogs can have an impact ... So here we go. 

In third spot ( I'm still ranking although they all share the top spot on the smem podium in my mind) is my friend Jim Garrow. His blog "the face of the matter" has become one of the most important destinations on what social media means in terms of public health and emergency preparedness, but also what it means for the convergence of legacy media and how people consume their news. 

This means Jim understand the new challenges faced by PIOs, incident managers and other EM professionals because social media is changing our world. His blog posts reflect his thinking on key issues. For example:
James Garrow is an avid blogger (since his days as JimmyJazz) but he's a fabulous tweeter and knows how to maximize his influence by punctual and effective tweets. Kudos all around ... a source of inspiration and someone I consider a friend.

In second spot, Kim Stephens. The author of perhaps the most significant blog on smem: the "idisaster 2.0" blog.  Kim provides a good analysis of the growing role of new technologies and social media in the response and recovery phases. 

Her posts on Joplin tornado aftermath and in the follow up to the Queensland floods really illustrated the growing important of SM in all phases of EM.  And that's why they were both highlighted (Joplin, Queensland)  in her own list of top smem destinations. And she finds time to speak with those involved in EM activities and get their feedback about the role of SM.

Whether talking about preparedness, crisis communications or engaging with audiences, Kim's comments come from experience and with sound observations on the benefits (and risks) of social media and mobile technologies.

You can hear share her vision and observations in this podcast. A regular contributor to the Friday #smemchat, Kim is a mainstay on the #smem hashtag on twitter ... She is a trusted voice and her opinion matters ... to more than just a few people.  Well done my friend!

Now time for the drum roll ... I'm a blogger writing on emergency management and crisis communications but I'm first and foremost, a communicator and a former reporter. So, it's natural that my first choice as someone who influences me the most in the smem world (both from a crisis comms and an EM perspective) should be another communicator.

The blogs penned by Gerald Baron (AKA the crisisblogger) tops my list of the 25 most important destinations online for social media in emergency management. As I mentioned earlier in my list, Gerald writes a blog for Emergency Management Magazine in addition to his own personal blog. His writings clearly illustrate the impact that social media have on crises and how perceptions are shaped. That's the bread and butter of crisis communicators.

Now, undertaking a new challenge as head of his firm (Agincourt Strategies), Gerald is positioning himself as one of the most respected face in the world of crisis communications. A world that's forever changed because of the imperatives brought by social media. He explains what it means for organizations, businesses, government, journalists and the public:

Because of his experiences in large-scale emergencies (think BP Gulf spill), his creation of the PIER System and his work with some of the most important businesses and organizations involved in emergency response, Gerald's words carry a lot of weight. You can follow him on twitter as @gbaron.

I know i'm constantly learning when I read his posts and those of Jim Garrow and Kim Stephens.

So this brings me to the end of my little holiday project and while it was lots of fun, it was also time consuming ... so, some time off from this blog for a few days !  And for those who think this was just about promoting the work of friends, a sort of "mutual adoration society" ... well, I call 'em as I see 'em ... The people and organizations on my list matter to me ... and that's all I ever wanted to show ... 

Many, many thanks to those who've responded to my posts and also to Kim and Jim for agreeing to come up with their own list ... the variety of choices is testimony to the excellent work done all over the world in integrating SM into EM programs.

Best wishes to you all!

the complete list: 
#1: Gerald Baron ... the crisisblogger ... as close to a guru as I've got ...
#2: Kim Stephens, the idisaster 2.0 blog ...  brilliant smem analysis ... 
#3: Jim Garrows' the face of the matter blog ... the Philly SMEM stalwart ...
#4: PTSC-Online ... a Canadian EM professional development tool
#5: Linkedin Groups ... groups on EM and SM on LinkedIn
#6: Craig Fugate and FEMA
#7: the SocialMedia Examiner website
#8: Emergency Management Magazine
#9: Chief Bill Boyd's blog: It's not my emergency! 
#10: SM4EM. org and Cheryl Bledsoe
#11: Jeff Phillips, Los Ranchos EM

#12: Sgt Tim Burrows, Constable Scott Mills and the Toronto Police Service 
#13: the weekly #smemchat
#14: 999 Social Media 
#15: Brian Humphrey ... a true pionneer 
#16: ushahidi ... witnessing change and progress in SMEM

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