I will be the first to say that I do not quite get social media. I typically un-tag myself in Facebook photos. I’ve been known to make mistakes when using the past tense of tweet that would make one blush. For a long time, I thought LinkedIn referred to a concept as opposed to an actual website and online community. Over time and with a lot of help from some amazing and patient people, I’ve been able to get a handle on how to use use social media to both delight and connect with others. But, nothing that I had engaged in thus far prepared me for what I was going to encounter at SMARMIE.
Funny acronym right? When I first heard of it, my imagination ran wild with all the things each letter could stand for. What I did not expect was that this conference of a peculiar name would be so singularly powerful and educational that it could very well change the way that I view social media and its powers forever. Now, I realize this this sounds very dramatic but it wasn’t until the presentation by the keynote speaker (blew my mind) that it really hit me.
Social media is crucial in the development of a global community of volunteers and it directly contributes to and enhances our ability to respond to those in crisis.
For counselors and counseling students, it is so important for us to be aware of the ways in which we can be involved in the creation and maintenance of this burgeoning movement. Humanitarianism is going digital and if you are a counselor YOU are engaged in humanitarian work.
Below are a few things I took away from the conference. I invite and urge you to check these sites out. Sign up for updates. Be involved. Get connected.
iRevolution – This blog features short thought pieces on how innovation and technology are revolutionizing the power of the individual through radical self-sufficiency, self-determination, independence, survival and resilience. While you’re at it, follow the incredible Patrick Meier.
Standby Task Force – Tired of feeling like you could be doing more when crisis hits? STF organizes digital volunteers into a flexible, trained and prepared network ready to deploy in crises.
Crisis Mappers – The largest and most active international community of experts, practitioners, policymakers, technologists, researchers, journalists, scholars, hackers and skilled volunteers engaged at the intersection between humanitarian crises, technology, crowd-sourcing, and crisis mapping.
iDisaster – The amazing Kim Stephens heads up this blog that seeks to provide exemplary practices, news and information about applications of new media, with the longer-term objective of improving practice and outcomes in emergency management.
Geofeedia – Identify “hot spots” by quickly performing situational awareness on impacted communities, prioritize resource allocation and logistical efforts using real-time intelligence from Geofeedia, and communicate with impacted populations using social media.
I’d also highly recommend keeping your eye on what’s coming out of Dr. Mark Dredze’s team at JSU. Social media for public health: very much here and now.