The greater participation by the public, this democratization of not only emergency management but government as a whole, is not going away. This is a direct result of the perception of the web as a free forum for all sorts of exchanges.
So when the powers that are (lead by Hollywood) tried to restrict that perceived freedom through the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)/Protect IP Act (PIPA), a huge online surge of indignation followed. It was perhaps the largest and most visible representation of "people power" on social networks and the internet.
It also helped bring to the fore a kind a cultural/age divide, which is (appropriately) diminishing as months go by. For one, the representative of the film industry, a former US Senator, totally misread this new wave of direct democracy.
So what are key learning lessons for the SMEM community in the SOPA affair?
- transparency is essential
- incorporating the public's participation is paramount
- don't ignore online sentiments and perceptions of your response ... they'll derail it.
- the era of "we know best" is long gone ... there's is lots of wisdom in the crowd.
#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)