It was recently pointed out to me by a retired Army General, his experience which had shown it was impossible for emergency services to keep up with the volume of Twitter traffic during disasters and that unless an organization had the manpower to reply to Twitter messages, it was dangerous waste of resources to use it.
Retiring Senior Defence Force officers are often recruited, because of their wealth of leadership and logistical experience, to the boards of corporations and associations. The contribution that they make is invaluable and indeed the knowledge and wisdom of senior citizens at large should probably be utilized far more than it currently is throughout society. Often in life though, the cost of attaining experience can be a blinkered approach to old problems as trusted and proven solutions are re-implemented without considering new opportunities outside the box.
At the time, I was presenting a speech in which I made the comment that we can no longer just communicate in the way in which we are comfortable to get our message out. The news no longer comes to us in just the traditional newspaper, radio or television broadcast, we have the tools today to filter what, when, where and also how we see and hear the news and in fact all information if we so choose.
If we think of Twitter as ”news” broadcasting and compare it to a normal television “news” program, does this change perceptions! In an emergency, the television presenter updates us with information, if we want to clarify anything though we don’t ring the presenter and have a conversation with him on the phone while he is broadcasting. It doesn’t make sense to do that and Twitter is no different, it can be used effectively simply as tool to provide information
Lets unmask the opportunity and explore the benefit of Twitter beyond simply broadcasting news messages. Whenever any event occurs people want to talk about it, this may be social activity like the U2 concert in Brisbane last week or world events such as the New Zealand mine disaster at Pike River.
A friend of mine was in Darwin during the recent mine disaster and was sharing a meal with some New Zealanders at the time. As news of the disaster came in, the immediate concern was for friends and relatives living in the area and this is where the incredible benefit of people talking on social media is illustrated. Instead of waiting for the authorities, they jumped onto the internet and found on www.search.twitter.com people who were talking about the disaster. In a matter of minutes they were amongst the most informed individuals in Australia as they were talking and listening to people actually there.
Try this for yourself, type in a topic that you are interested in and see who is talking about it, you don’t need to be a Twitter user or even go to the Twitter website. If you see a #Tag then click on it and it will filter the messages to show you only conversations that contain that particular #Tag.
The world may seem very different today but resistance to change and naysayers are as old as time. I remember my parents telling me a funny story about when decimal currency replaced pounds, shillings and pence. On a talkback radio program one caller asked quite simply, “Can’t they just wait until all the old dears pass away?
Change always happens, today it is just happening much faster. The opportunity exists for the leader who is willing to investigate, inform, inspire and influence their communities.
Do you have an example you would like to share where the blinkers have come off?
“Building Champion Communities”