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If you are reading this, you may be familiar with the #SMEM Hashtag on Twitter which stands for Social Media in Emergency Management.

This collective group of people chat on Fridays over the hour of 12:30p-1:30p EST on a variety of issues relating to the intersection of emergency management and how it is changing through the use of social media. We use the hashtag #SMEMChat during this hour.

Today, on Friday, January 13th, during our #SMEMChat timeframe, we will be conducting an exercise of social media. The goal will be to see how quickly a “crowd of people” can creatively contribute to solving a problem using social media.

This activity is called “crowdsourcing” which can save an emergency manager a ton of time. When the community can solve the community’s problems, you encourage resilience, recovery and enhance your agencies’ ability to focus on other issues.

Only today’s exercise isn’t going to be solving a fake problem, we’re going to tackle a REAL world problem: the lack of clean drinking water in the developing world.


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out how to positively support the non-profit organization, Charity: Water, through your actions.

How You Earn Direct Points

You will be awarded one point for each activity that you report as complete to support Charity:Water. Every supportive activity taken on any social network counts as a point for you. For example, clicking the “like” button on their Facebook page, sharing a YouTube video on Google+ and following them on Twitter would count as 3 points. In order to receive your point, you must tweet on Twitter what you did and include the hashtag #SMEMWater between the hour of 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. EST.

You can play Charitii to earn money towards Charity:Water and you will earn 1 point in this game for every 20 points earned on this website.  Share on Twitter your total points earned in the Charitii game by the end of the hour and I will divide by 20 to award your #SMEMWater points.

If you choose to donate REAL money to this charity, you will earn 1 point for each U.S. Dollar (or dollar equivalent) contributed to Charity:Water.

Creativity Bonus Points

If you are the FIRST PERSON to identify a method of positive contribution on Twitter, you will receive 5 extra bonus points.  Presuming people may shout-out the same method at exactly the same minute on the exercise administrator’s timeline, bonus points may be awarded to both identifiers since this is only a game.

Referral Bonus Points

You will receive a BONUS POINT if anyone from YOUR NETWORK shares an activity they did which includes both the #SMEMWater hashtag AND your twitter handle to identify who referred them. If your referral completes more than one activity, you will accrue points for each activity they report following the inclusion of your twitter handle.

You have one hour to complete as many activities as you can to support Charity:Water to earn points in this competitive game.  You may work collaboratively with others to achieve this mission.

You can “watch” what is happening on Twitter without even having a Twitter account by simply going to a few websites and entering a search term. I highly recommend:

For this exercise, I would recommend using the following search terms: #smemwater #smemchat #smem

With simply a pen & paper, watch what is being shared and see if you can track all of the ways that people are actively supporting Charity:Water. If you really want to challenge yourself, keep a score sheet and determine if your results match mine.

In order not to obstruct play, I would like to suggest that we conduct an after-action debrief of this game next week during the #SMEMChat hour on Friday, January 20th. That way, folks can feel free to collaborate & leverage as many channels as possible to play, earn points and contribute to the collective voice of the “crowd.”

Thanks for playing and watching!

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