As many of you know, we just had 3 disasters in this week alone. Typhoon Ondoy devastated Manila, an earthquake followed by a tsunami hit Samoa and American Samoa and another earthquake in Indonesia. Not a good week for all of us.
In times like this, social media can also help us. With free tools out there, it is easy to create your own broadcasting channel to help disseminate information and do live reporting wherever you are. Assuming that the 3G networks we have are operational, you have a laptop and brave enough, preparing for this is easy.
Mainstream Media has farther reach but they cannot cover everything. In the Philippines alone, there are still places that haven’t been covered or no attention has been given. Learn to use these simple tools and you’re on your way in broadcasting live.
Tools You Can Use
UStream.tv – Is a website that allows you to create your own channel. You can do live broadcasting or you can just record an event and broadcast it later. It also has chat tool so that people can ask questions during the broadcast or add information. Streaming can be enhanced using Macromedia encoder which makes streaming a breeze. Everything you need to setup your channel is in ustream.tv
Blogs – Blogs can be setup as your broadcasting headquarters. Post important information, phone numbers and way to contact rescue organizations. You can also report what’s happening in your area with your blog posts.
Twitter – It worked well when we coordinated information thru various agencies and non-government organizations. Users also used it to report events, relief operations and volunteer work. And some helped in raising awareness in the social sphere. Twitter helped a lot since it was faster than making a phone call to government agencies.
Google Docs – Creating a list of missing persons, evacuation centers, etc. Rescue InfoHub Central used Google docs for collaborated efforts in creating lists. This was then distributed to people and blogs.
During the typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines, young Filipinos were the one that started taking advantage of these tools. Though I didn’t see anyone doing a live broadcast, it was all coordinated using social media tools.
How about you?Do you think this will work in where you are? Share some of your experience by leaving a comment below.