About the VOSG and the VOST Logo Service Mark
The Virtual Operations Support Group is a global community of interest that was established in New York State in 2012 and markets its services on the internet at www.vosg.us. The VOSG operates as a not-for-profit membership organization that specializes in the use of Virtual Operations Support Teams (VOSTs) to support the use of social media for emergency management in crisis response. As a coalition of independently managed VOST teams worldwide with common values, the VOSG has established a Global Advisory Council with three Regional Centers, namely VOST Americas, VOST Europe and VOST Oceania.
The VOSG family of teams collaborate worldwide to provide mutual aid support during the response to incidents. The VOSG’s response to adverse situations is coordinated by the Global Advisory Council together with relevant Regional Centers. The VOSG is also providing various services to support the formation of new VOSTs worldwide, including guidance, VOST training and supervision on a case by case basis, for the various VOST models with cultural differences.
With VOSG’s comprehensive online marketing resources, a new VOST can increase its success by working alongside the VOSG’s dedicated team of social media crisis response and emergency management professionals to develop a customized solution for each VOST. The VOSG provides unique and valuable services to its members by:
● Offering advice and counsel from professional members who are experienced
● Supporting cultural differences in the development of various VOST models
● Operating in 3 languages simultaneously – English, French and Spanish.
● Evaluating each new VOST application without bias
● Supervision, guidance and training during a probationary operational period
● Preparing a strategic plan to help VOSTs support their local authorities in an emergency or disaster situation.
● And much more.
The VOSG is not a typical organization with a physical address where people can meet. Instead, the VOSG is primarily offering online VOST services, operating as a VOW (Virtual Office Website). Apart from occasional representation at conferences, in person presentations and ad hoc meetings, for at least the past 5 years almost all of the VOSG’s Services, including all marketing and advertising have been and presently are delivered online.
What is a VOST?
A VOST is one way for emergency managers to help harness the power of social media for emergency management (SMEM). Virtual Operations Support Teams (VOST) as applied to emergency management and disaster recovery is an effort to make use of new communication technologies and social media tools so that a team of trusted agents (VOSTies) can lend support via the internet to those on-site who may otherwise be overwhelmed by the volume of data generated during a disaster. VOSTs are activated to perform specific functions in support of affected organizations & jurisdictions.
The VOSG.us site was originated by Joanna Lane in Spring 2011 to support VOST Osbourne’s proof of concept exercise at NEMA11 and was then established in 2012 as the hub for the VOST Leadership Coalition (VLC), comprising a worldwide community of interest in collaborating on the VOST concept.
VOSG.us owns and administers the VOST logo. The VOST logo was first used in the public domain on April 12, 2011, when it was published and licensed by VOSG.us under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. In summary, the License gives permission to share the logo (copy and redistribute the logo in any medium or format) and adapt the logo (remix, transform, and build upon the material) under specific terms. As the Licensor, VOSG.us requires attribution to be given in a reasonable manner, including an appropriate credit and link to this website on social media profiles that incorporate the VOST logo, not least as a nod to transparency.
An application must be completed prior to any use. These measures are desirable to build a trusted brand and protect the public interest.
As a central hub for VOST, the network also offers VOST news in both English and Spanish, team specific information for all teams that have opted in, research material and training resources, mentoring and consulting in the US and internationally.
VOSG.us is a multisite network. As well as sponsoring the hosting for the VOST Leadership Coalition site since 2012, the network includes team specific sites for NY VOST, OK VOST and NZ VOST.
Since 2013, VOSG.us has grown as an international project driven group, facilitating a wide range of projects to further information sharing, and collaboration between emerging multinational VOSTs, as well as fostering research and professional development initiatives.
Due to increased traffic to the site, bandwidth was increased in May 2014.
VOSG.us Owner and CEO
©The Virtual Operations Support Group 2017 – all rights reserved