But what made the Aurora tragedy such an important moment for #SMEM? To me, it marked the generalized realization that news breaks on social media, particularly on Twitter. This makes monitoring and keeping situational awareness through social networks a must. Most of us can now follow unfolding events in real time as people tweet, instagram, facebook and reddit them. We can build instant stories based on what's being shared. Social networks even help create a sense of collective empathy.
The legacy media has picked up on that and to remain relevant, they too jump on the social bandwagon when incidents occur. Why not? They now have thousands upon thousands of "citizen reporters" they don't have to pay. So they maintain pretty solid social media monitoring postures.
or a UK online retailer (CelebBoutique), how they felt when they sent automated tweets hours after the incident ...without really being aware of what had just happened.
The lesson here? Monitoring social media is now an essential part of maintaining situational awareness ... and you must have a plan to ramp up from routine social listening to a full on social surveillance program when an incident occurs. Are you ready for that?
To me, the attention brought to the role social networks played in getting the story out, makes the Aurora shooting number 5 on my list of top 10 SMEM-related events of the year.
#10: the Israel-Hamas War (Dec. 9, 2012)
#9: the wildfires in the western US (Dec. 12, 2012)
#8: the SMEMTO conference (Dec. 16, 2012)
#7: the lauch of FEMA's SMEM course (Dec. 17, 2012)