Crisis News Twitter — Jean Burgess, 1 November 2011
New ARC Linkage project: Social media in times of crisis

This morning the Australian Research Council announced the latest round of major grant funding, and I’m pleased to be able to report some very good news. Along with our CCI colleagues Kate Crawford and Terry Flew, Axel and I were awarded funding for a Linkage Project on the uses of social media for crisis communication, which we’ll conduct in partnership with the Queensland Department of Community Safety, Brisbane-based public policy think tank Eidos Institute, and our colleagues at Sociomantic Labs:

Social Media in Times of Crisis: Learning from Recent Natural Disasters to Improve Future Strategies

Recent Australian and international natural disasters have demonstrated the changing shape of public communication in times of crisis. Mass media and face-to-face communication are now complemented by a variety of channels from SMS to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

This project combines large-scale quantitative and close qualitative analysis to investigate the public use of social media during disasters, working with key emergency management organisations to improve their communication strategies. It will highlight successful approaches as well as potential pitfalls; the strategies which the project will develop and test will help to make emergency responses in natural disasters faster and more effective.

The project builds on and substantially extends the various bits of work we’ve already been doing in this area, and which we’ve reported on in this blog and elsewhere over the last several months (and here I should especially acknowledge the contribution of Frances Shaw at UNSW). Really looking forward to getting going on this one in the new year – stay tuned for updates!

About the Author

Jean Burgess is a Professor of Digital Media and Director of the Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC) at Queensland University of Technology. She is @jeanburgess on Twitter.

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(9) Readers' Comments

  1. Congratulations on getting funding for this project. Your work in this field is fantastic.

  2. Thanks very much, Lisa – looking forward to it.

  3. I referenced research done by your team in a conference paper I wrote about the effectiveness of social networks in emergency situations. If you are interested in reading it you can find it here:

  4. Wow, great, congratulations!

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