Today is November 11th which is a special day to honor the many veterans who have served their countries.
It is a day that is important for so many reasons and to add in another recognition seems difficult to do; however, this is also the day that saw the birth of an important conversation in social media.
It is hard to believe that only 2 years ago, the first use of #SMEM (Social Media Emergency Management) was uttered on Twitter and yet, in reading the post that was written last year about all of the efforts that took place in Year 1, it was more than a little daunting to begin to record some of the highlights of Year 2.
I shall begin with an apology….because I know that there are activities that I missed in this digital record. So, I trust that any significant errors will be caught by readers and entered into the comments below this post.
Nevertheless, you will clearly see that Year 2 was an incredible year for the many folks who were a part of these initiatives.
In order to provide some semblance of historical order, I’ll attempt listing these activities by month over the scope of the past year with hyperlinks where possible. I will intentionally minimize names, unless the description requires it, because missing one of your names will inevitably hurt someone’s feelings.
Without further ado, here we go….
- National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) delivered its first Social Media for Natural Disaster Response & Recovery course. This course has been replicated all over the country over the scope of this past year.
- Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) delivered a set of 3 social media webinars that were so popular, the maximum number of attendees was reached over 15 minutes prior to the start of each class.
- In December, three bloggers hosted their lists of favorite #SMEM people and activities that were relevant to 2011. Patrice Cloutier, Kim Stephens and Jim Garrow’s lists are all fun moments that inspired us all to bigger and better things in 2012.
- Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) released its “Social Media Strategy” document publicly.
- #SMEM Community on Twitter played in its first exercise to gather information and crowdsource ways to solve problems. This first exercise was called #SMEMWater which had the following groundrules, lessons learned and winners.
- Two weeks after #SMEMWater, we tried to use the Super Bowl as a way to exercise Situational Awareness. And, #SMEMBowl provided some incredible lessons learned as we all sucked from the firehose of information that was available to those who played.
- MidWest Disaster 2.0 Conference occured in Kansas and focused on the variety of social media lessons learned from the Joplin tornadoes.
- #SMEMWatch was another facilitated exercise that occurred online during our weekly #SMEMChat hours. The scenario, ground rules and wrap-up share more information about this little drill.
- American Red Cross launched its Digital Operations Center in partnership with Dell.
- National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) hosted its Mid-Year Forum in Virginia with a panel of #SMEM participants
- Humanity Road was recognized as a finalist for a Shorty Award in New York City.
- Virtual Operations Support Teams (VOST) gather for the first monthly meeting of the VOST Leadership Coalition to share practices and discuss lessons learned from various team-level activations. For a nice listing of the various VOST articles & resources, check out the Canada VOST Wiki.
- Tornado VOST Activation (Oklahoma) with some initial lessons learned.
- Virtual Social Media Working Group launched its First Responder Blog.
- Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) leaders developed the first VOST Basics training with big thanks to Scott Reuter and Caroline Milligan who have been instrumental in putting together VOST resources for a variety of teams.
- Red Cross launches the the First Aid Mobile Application for smart phones.
- Indiana hosts an Emergency Support Function 8 Conference which focused heavily on social media use in the health world.
- National Capital Region hosted a Social Media Summit
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launced IS-42 which is an independent study course for Social Media in Emergency Management which is a good primer in social media for crisis.
- Wildfire and Smoke VOST Activations ran from July through September in the Pacific NW. A number of researchers were embedded with these teams and wrote articles like Trial by Fire.
- Virtual Operations Support Teams were also activated for law enforcement activities for the first time on record in this month.
- American Red Cross launched its Hurricane Mobile Application for smart phones.
- 30 Days, 30 Ways Preparedness Game was held for 3rd year straight. This year, game completed 4,115 preparedness tasks with strong direct support from Colorado, New Mexico and Montana. Other versions of the game were also hosted by Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.
- American Red Cross launched their Earthquake Mobile Application for smart phones.
- Virtual Social Media Working Group released its “Community Engagement Guidance” document.
- Wilson Center hosted the Grassroots to Government Conference on use of social media and open data.
- Western Massachusetts held their WRHSAC Workshop focused on social media.
- American Red Cross was also honored at the White House with a digital media day.
- #SMEMChat received Honorable Mention recognition by the Partners in Preparedness Citizen Corps Award. And we have now had 95 weekly chats since #SMEMChat started over a year ago…..thanks to Mary Jo Flynn, Bill Smith and Nathan Hunerwadel who diligently archive and storify these chats.
- #SMEMForum was held at the National Emergency Management Association Annual Conference in Seattle.
- The International Association of Emergency Management (IAEM) had a strong social media presence and help desk at their conference with SMEM participants. IAEM also has an Emerging Technologies Committee that has been active this year.
- Shakeout.Org used social media to spread the word about their Earthquake Drill.
- American Red Cross launched its Wildfire Mobile Application for smart phones.
- VOST Training Plan developed for New Zealand and shared with other developing teams.
- VOST Leadership Coalition held its first notification drill to connect on incidents requiring expanding resources.
- Hurricane Sandy VOST Activation & Strong Involvement of other Virtual Technical Communities.
If you had any connection to any of these events, we thank you for participating in this wild year of social media use within crisis and emergency management environments. This next year will surely have so many events and milestones that it will be nearly impossible to capture a similar list.
However, Happy Birthday #SMEM….here’s to many more years of expansion and use!