Crisis Twitter — Snurb, 7 November 2012
Twitter and Crisis Communication from #qldfloods to #sandy

My recent trip to a number of European conferences and other research events also provided an opportunity to present some of our ongoing work on the use of social media in crisis communication – as our ARC Linkage project with the Queensland Department of Community Safety and the Eidos Institute begins in earnest, this will continue to be a key area of research for us, of course.

Before I get to this, though, to a bit of breaking news: Jean Burgess, Farida Vis and I have just published a brief study on the use of images in the coverage of ‘superstorm’ Sandy on Twitter, as it hit the U.S. east coast. The article, with attendant data and image gallery, was published in The Guardian‘s data blog – our sincere thanks for Simon Rogers for making this possible. Much more analysis of #sandy data to come at a later point, surely.

Back to some other crisis communication news: at the European Communication Conference (ECREA), I had an opportunity to outline the key findings from our work on the Queensland floods and Christchurch earthquakes, in a paper co-authored with my colleague Jean Burgess. This builds in part on our major report on the use of Twitter during the 2011 south east Queensland floods, which we released through the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation in January 2012, as well as on related research work. Slides and audio are below.

Analysing Twitter Activity in Crisis Contexts from Axel Bruns

Further, I was invited to discuss our crisis communication research in a guest lecture to the international Masters programme at the University of Helsinki, earlier in October. There are some obvious overlaps between this talk and the AoIR presentation – but Helsinki gave me an opportunity to present our research in considerably greater detail. Here are the slides and audio:

Social Media and Crisis Communication from Axel Bruns


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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