September 09, 2011, 4:44 PM — Australia and the rest of the world had been hit with a spate of natural disasters in the past 12 months, whereby Emergency 2.0 Wiki was born from out of the rubble.
Project leader, Eileen Culleton, spoke to Computerworld Australia about the project and the role that social media will play in the future of communications during natural disasters.
When did the Emergency Wiki start and what motivated you to start it?
The impetus for the wiki was the need to capture and leverage learnings from the use of social media during Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi, and to empower the community with knowledge of how to use social media to better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.
This 'Wikipedia for emergencies' will provide practical tips for the public and guidelines, templates and tools for emergency agencies, government, schools, community agencies and businesses.
It is a voluntary initiative of the the Gov2Qld community of practice of professionals working in a number of different sectors.
Following the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi of early 2011, the Gov2Qld group met to plan a crisis communications debriefing workshop and I presented to the group my idea of capturing and leveraging these learnings by creating an Emergency 2.0 Wiki to provide best practice advice on how to use social media and Web 2.0 in all phases of emergency management.
The draft wiki was launched for global collaborative input on 23 August this year.
What has your role been in developing the wiki and what does your team look like?
I am the project leader of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki. The working group was established to create a strategy and framework for the project, to 'soft launch' the wiki for global collaborative input from the emergency, government, community and business sectors and to establish wiki reference groups with global input and a steering group with national representation.
The wiki working group is made up of Gov2Qld group members volunteering their professional skills and time. Industries represented include local and state government, non-government organisations, ICT, emergency groups, the business, education and media sectors.
How does the wiki leverage social media and Web 2.0?
The engagement campaign to build a global collaborative Emergency 2.0 Wiki community was driven almost exclusively via social media. We began with a Twitter channel and campaign to start building awareness and a community of target stakeholder groups.