Social Media in Disaster Response

How Experience Architects Can Build for Participation

By Liza Potts

© 2014 – Routledge

146 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415817417
pub: 2013-10-21
US Dollars$47.95
Hardback: 9780415817424
pub: 2013-10-21
US Dollars$130.00

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About the Book

Social Media in Disaster Response focuses on how emerging social web tools provide researchers and practitioners with new opportunities to address disaster communication and information design for participatory cultures. Both groups, however, currently lack research toolkits for tracing participant networks across systems; there is little understanding of how to design not just for individual social web sites, but how to design across multiple systems. Given the volatile political and ecological climate we are currently living in, the practicality of understanding how people communicate during disasters is important both for those researching solutions and for those putting that research into practice.

Social Media in Disaster Response addresses this situation by presenting the results of a large-scale sociotechnical usability study on crisis communication in the vernacular related to recent natural and human-made crisis; this is an analysis of the way social web applications are transformed, by participants, into a critical information infrastructure in moments of crisis. This book provides researchers with methods, tools, and examples for researching and analyzing these communication systems while providing practitioners with design methods and information about these participatory communities to assist them in influencing the design and structure of these communication systems.

Table of Contents

1: Experience, Disaster, and the Social Web

Architecting Mediated Systems

The Social Web

Disaster, Communication, and the Social Web

Disaster Cases

Overview of Chapters

Who this Book is for

2: Methods for Researching and Architecting the Social Web

Users and Participants

Content and Exchange

Networks and Agency

Identifying and Mapping


3: Locating Data in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Ecosystems and Data

Locating Data and Sources in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

Practical Solutions


4: Validating Information during the London Bombings

Ecosystems and Information

Tracing the Translation from Data to Information in the London Bombings

Practical Solutions


5: Transferring Knowledge During the Mumbai Attacks

Ecosystems and Knowledge

Distributing Knowledge Across Systems

Practical Solutions


6: Architecting Systems for Participation

New Disasters: Participant Innovations and Continued Struggles

Frameworks for Participant-Centered Architectures

Participatory Futures

About the Author

Liza Potts is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. She is a senior researcher at Writing in Digital Environments Research Center, the director of user experience at MATRIX, and a collaborator at Creativity Exploratory—a practice-based addition to the College of Arts and Letters curriculum. Her research interests include technologically mediated communication, experience architecture, and participatory culture. Potts is the chair of the Association for Computer Machinery's Special Interest Group on Design of Communication (ACM: SIGDOC) and the co-editor of Communication Design Quarterly Review. She has worked for Microsoft, consultancies, and start-ups as a director, user experience architect, and program manager.

About the Series

ATTW Series in Technical and Professional Communication

The ATTW Series in Technical and Professional Communication publishes interesting and useful work in a wide range of topics related to technical and professional communication (TPC), including but not limited to the following: assessment of TPC programs, content management systems, globalization of TPC, human-computer interaction, intercultural communication, health-care and medical communication, pedagogy of TPC, publication management, risk and crisis communication, service learning in TPC, technical and professional editing, translation of TPC, usability/user-experience and accessibility studies, visual communication, and web design and development.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Composition & Creative Writing