This was an amazingly successful experiment we did on the Shadow Lake Fire in Oregon last September. The hope is, this will help PIOs nationwide utilize the full power of the technical skills available on the worldwide web! Kris Eriksen
Trial by Fire: The Deployment of Trusted Digital Volunteers in the 2011 Shadow Lake Fire [St. Denis et al.]
We report on the use of a team of trusted digital volunteers during the 2011 Shadow Lake Fire that occurred in the US Pacific Northwest to extend the social media capacity of a Type I incident management team.
In this case study, we outline the tools and processes used by this virtual team to coordinate their activities, monitor social media communication and to establish communications with the public around the event.
Finally, we discuss the potential merits and limitations of implementing a team of trusted volunteers and explore how this idea could be incorporated into emergency management organizations.
The attempt to employ a team of trusted volunteers is an example of socio-technical innovation in times of disaster by the emergency management community.
This case shows how emergency managers have begun to look within their own communities for help. They appreciate the role of existing remote volunteers, and extend the idea by finding trusted agents who could help when information demands during emergencies outstrip capacity to respond.
In this examination, we learn about how a nascent team of trusted volunteers internally operates, and how the formal response coordinates with it. Their experiences also raise questions that, given this perceived local success, need to be addressed to make it possible to extend the idea of a trusted volunteer network in support of larger emergency management aims.
The complete research paper is posted here:
I have been working on this VOST concept for over a year now and convened my team of ‘Trusted Agents’ March 14th of last year. This particular instance was especially valuable and worthy of academic research because it was on a complex emergency incident and working directly for a National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) Public Information shop. I welcome comments and discussion Jeff Phillips
G+ discussion here