This afternoon, Leysia Palen from University of Colorado, Boulder, gave a very inspiring talk on “Bringing Social, Information and Computer Science together to address challenges in emergency response” at the Crismart symposium. Leysia presented how their crisis informatics research group is working on extracting twitter tweets to explore and analyse how micro-blogging is used in emergencies and crisis. In the presentation, Leysia underlines the importance to understand that formal response organizations should make use of this type of collective and social information, not for monitoring purposes but for further improve their capability to support the public in times of crisis. Make use of and Monitoring are two very different things. The public is using social media in order to make sense, coordinate and inform each other in times of crises. There is a great need for further advances in how social media could be used by the public and in collaboration with formal agencies.
Leysia´s talk triggered a very good and valuable discussion at the symposium.