Crisis News Twitter — Snurb, 28 March 2011

A quick heads-up for our Australian-based readers: our work on researching social media use during the Queensland floods will be featured at a symposium in Brisbane on 4 April 2011, organised by the Eidos Institute. In addition to Jean, myself, and other colleagues from QUT and USQ, key presenters from emergency authorities and the mainstream media will include

  • Kym Charlton, Executive Director for Media and Public Affairs at the Queensland Police Service
  • Eileen Culleton, Emergency 2.0 Wiki Project Leader at Gov2qld
  • Monique Potts, Senior Director of Strategic Development at ABC Innovation
  • Dennis Atkins, National Affairs Editor at the Courier-Mail

Should be a great event, and we’d very much encourage you to join us. A full blurb for the event is below – to register, please go to the Eidos Website.

Social Media in Times of Crisis:
Social Media during the Queensland Floods

The unprecedented use and role of social media during the recent devastating floods occurring in South-East Queensland has emerged as a singularly unifying issue in both the lead-up and clean up to a natural disaster which destroyed lives, houses and property.

Although online and mobile media is now well established as a significant tool for public communication among citizens and civic authorities, its astounding role during the floods as both a source of primary source of official communication and amplification of interpersonal and word-of-mouth communication has attracted significant attention and analysis in the worlds of both academia and policy.

Instant communication using social media such as Twitter and Facebook helps citizens to maintain a constant dialogue with governments; this dialogue can be especially valuable during times of crisis, but requires a careful recalibration of communication strategies on both sides in order to maximise efficiency and avoid the spreading of misinformation.

As part of the Eidos Institutes National Symposium Series seeking to create a series of discussions linking the arms of policy, politics and research this symposium will explore the use of social media as a means of communication between governments and citizens in times of crisis. It will present a first analysis of online public communication during the floods, as well as observations from key decision-makers at various levels of government.

About the Author

Dr Axel Bruns leads the QUT Social Media Research Group. He is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Bruns is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008) and Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (2005), and a co-editor of Twitter and Society, A Companion to New Media Dynamics and Uses of Blogs (2006). He is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. His research Website is at, and he tweets as @snurb_dot_info.

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