Edited By Biljana Mileva Boshkoska
Social Media Knowledge Influence on a Loosely Coupled System: A Case Study of an Informal Humanitarian Initiative
Abstract: Notwithstanding that in Slovenia there is no conceptual solution that would integrate social media within formal emergency operating procedures, social media has become a tool for supporting official responses during emergencies. In this chapter, we introduce a conceptual optimization of natural disaster standard operating procedures, which reveals points at which it is possible to integrate social media with the formal response process. We take as a case study the ice storm that affected Slovenia in the beginning of 2014, which, because of the downfall of communication lines and the electrical power grid, caused the isolation of the whole region. Running in parallel with the official response, social media enabled emerging of informal loosely coupled initiatives that reacted to the humanitarian aid and the call for power generators. The efficiency of the social media-based response was high, and successfully complemented official activities. This is the first optimization approach of this kind in Slovenia, and we expect it to serve as a base ground for further research on the connection between social media and emergency management.
Keywords: Social media, knowledge influence, loosely coupled systems, natural disasters
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