***** Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies. By Connie M. White. CRC Press, www.crcpress.com; 329 pages; $69.95.
This book offers a unique look into the world of emergency management through the prism of social media. To achieve this perspective, the author infused her work with contributions from more than a dozen professionals in emergency management and information technology. The result is a comprehensive guided tour of the capabilities, methods, and suggested uses of social media in emergency management.
The work resembles an undergraduate textbook with well-defined chapters that are divided and subdivided into smaller sections. Concepts are routinely reinforced through diagrams and screen shots to help the reader follow along. Each chapter ends with a summary section and review exercises to help the reader digest the information as they proceed to the next chapter.
The work helps to establish best practices for professional organizations building and maintaining social media sites. These practices include discussions of what filters, permissions, membership, and access should or should not be granted and to whom. The result is a social media toolkit that can be used to tailor the content and access of a social media site to the specific audience and purpose desired.
For example, a site can be created to solicit photos and video from the general public living through a disaster to allow the emergency management agency access to real-time images from the scene. Another site can be set up as a discussion forum where membership is invitation-only for governmental agency representatives.