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Quickly Noted: Diversification is Useful for More Than Just Finance

March 29, 2010

The other day, I saw a great post from the (previously unknown to me) CrimeMap blog about emergency notification, and how Twitter is the hot new thing that all public safety agencies are signing up for. The post was written in response to another post that chided those same public safety agencies for buying into the Twitter fad.

The CrimeMap point of view is that Twitter is but one tool in the toolbox of emergency notification. When used as part of suite of outreach tools, you have the potential to reach more people. In fact, I would argue that you could write the original article, aside from the hacking attempts (though note that there is no check on who buys radio and newspaper ads), could be written about just about any other form of emergency notification. You’re not going to get everyone, you can’t verify the information, etc.

Consider me. I do not listen to the radio (not at all, can’t stand it – especially NPR, I know some folks can’t live without it, but I need music, my music, when I drive), but am on Twitter lots and lots. If you just pushed out a radio message, you’d miss me completely.

The CrimeMap post, and I, agree that emergency notification should be delivered in as many formats as possible—in order to reach the broadest possible audience. Reach people where they are at and where they choose to learn about the news. And as for verification of the message, that comes from building a reputation as the official emergency management Twitter feed (for example) in the region over time.

In that post, the authors mention Nixle posts. For those of you who’ve never heard of Nixle, it’s an emergency notification tool that integrates a variety of outreach methodologies like email, text messaging and other “online” messaging media, all from one dashboard. In fact, I just read a post by the White Mountain Joint Information System about how they continue to use Nixle after several months of beta testing. While I’ve not used or seen the inside of Nixle, it sounds intriguing (and free).

My reason for mentioning it is that it confirms my point that no one in their right mind would rely solely on Twitter to blast out emergency messages. And more tools every day are springing up to facilitate that.

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One Comment leave one →
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