[Offtopic] PoliticsOnline, February 13 2009.
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun Feb 15 03:00:45 EST 2009
> From: PoliticsOnline <editor at politicsonline.com>
> Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 17:06:54 -0500 (EST)
> Subject: Weekly NetPulse - In Australia, Social Media Sweeps Past Gov't
Feb 13 2009
In Australia, Social Media Sweeps Past Government Bureaucracy
In the aftermath of the worst wildfire in Australia's history,
authorities and survivors are questioning whether a formal alert system
of text messages or phone calls to warn residents of approaching
wildfires might have saved lives. The sweeping wildfires that blazed
across southeastern Australia last week killed 181 people.
The AP reports, "In Victoria, there is no formal alert system of text
messages or phone calls to warn residents of approaching wildfires."
Australian officials reported that the fierce intensity and fast-changing
direction of the fires make sirens, email and other warning systems
ineffective, but Victoria state Premier John Brumby said, "A national
emergency warning system for wildfires should be considered, and that he
wrote to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd about the idea months ago.
The Australian Newspaper reports, "Attorney General Robert McClelland,
working to expedite a nation-wide warning system utilizing cells and text
messaging claims that the system was ready for deployment months prior to
the fires but was delayed .. "
Social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, as was true in
the cases of the Mumbai Terrorist attacks and the California wildfires,
were the first, most credible and raw sources of information during the
disaster. Mark Parker from SmartSellingBlog reflected on social media and
the wildfires saying, "It angers me that as I was getting official
reports from credible, reliable sources this same information was taking
hours to get distributed into the mainstream community. The TV either
wasn't up to date or the networks felt it wasn't important enough to run
anything more than hourly updates - it's not like they don't know how to
use ticker updates."
(The Australian) Plea on Automated Emergency Messaging
(NY Times) Australia Wildfire Suspects Are Freed
(AP) Australian official: Wildfire deaths will pass 200
(ABC) Social Media Explodes in Wake of Deadly Bushfires
"Quote Of The Week"
Australian Politicians Enter The World of New Media, Follow in Footsteps
"The sooner our politicians see the internet as a vehicle for two-way
communication, not a new medium for old static press statements, the
sooner the inclusive, democratic and liberating power of online
engagement will be harnessed in the same way Obama did - to such a
transformative effect." - Ed Coper, campaigns director at online activist
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