Discussion: Social Media Aggregator & Data Analysis

Discussion: Social Media Aggregator & Data Analysis

Discussion: Social Media Aggregator & Data Analysis

  1. Discover:

    Launch your investigation into social media as a source of information and the use of aggregators by reviewing the

    ESRI website on Geographic Information Systems(Links to an external site.)

    and browsing through the attached handout on

    Commonly Used Social Media Sites.


  1. Demonstrate:

    Choose a (free or trial) social media aggregator, and collect the trending reports of interest to Emergency Managers. Post your critical analysis conclusions to the Discussion Board.


Explain how to do it

1) Research/search “Social Media Aggregator”

2) Pick one (for example, Hootsuite) and install (trial or free)

3) Pick a region of interest or a topic of interest or both. (Philadelphia, riot/civil unrest/protest)

4) perform the settings required and refine your setting to adjust for the capture of useful data vs the noise you are content with. Watch your sensitivity and specificity. Usually, to optimize one, you lose the other.

5) Run the aggregator for several days/periods.

6) Take a screenshot capture of YOUR dashboard running on your computer

7) Like qualitative research, perform your analysis on what you can extract from the aggregator as useful, actionable intelligence (stuff you would respond to or spin up your regional providers in anticipation for a response. ) Post this summary (“synopsis”)

8) post your conclusions on the utility of social media aggregators for the EOC/Emergency Manager.

Example Student Paper

I am also somewhat technologically challenged and very much a novice when it comes to social media. While I have learned a lot about communication methods including the importance and benefits of social media, throughout this semester, I do not foresee myself assuming a role in an emergency management operation, where I would have sole responsibility for managing and monitoring social media. But based off this week’s assignment I have delved into the world of emergency management in social media and learned a great deal more than I had before.

In addition to preparing for modern disasters, it is important to remain modern in our response efforts (ESRI, n.d.). This includes the use of social media for two-way communication in disasters. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (2013) recognizes the importance of social media for emergency management preparedness, response, and recovery. In addition to emergency managers, planners, and responders providing the public with vital safety warnings and information, members of the public are able to provide information to emergency personal and public safety organizations by indicating geographic-based information in real time, based on events they are witnessing or involved in (DHS, 2013).

After exploring social media aggregators, a tool I have never used or even heard of before, I definitely have an understanding of their importance when it comes to social media use for emergency managers.  I selected the topic of flooding and just began selecting search criteria related to flooding. The information that I discovered came from a variety of sources that included the general public, news agencies, community groups, community emergency response teams, first responder agencies, and offices of emergency management.

It is easy to understand how social media plays a critical communication role in rapidly evolving incidents. This is especially important when communication infrastructure may have some disruption as seen during the 2016 Louisiana floods (Bosch, 2017). In a case study conducted by Bosch (2017) it was noted that there was a correlation between increased use of social media for communication in areas with cell carrier service disruptions.

However, this exercise in the use of social media for emergency management, has identified that while this communication platform is very beneficial, it is important to filter out the irrelevant information and home in on what is pertinent to you as a member of the community or as a response agency. This involves collecting pertinent information in a single location rather than constantly filtering through a variety of platforms to find what is relevant. Utilizing a social media aggregate will ensure more efficient use of information in an actual disaster event. Once one understands the platform and how to access information it is also imperative to learn how to share or repost information so those whom you are connected with or wish to share information with, will have access.

While the use of social media as a method of emergency communication may take time to learn and become proficient at, I do believe it is imperative that all types of emergency management agencies and response units, utilize this communication system. Not only is a social media aggregator the modern and efficient method of organizing desired data from social media, but it also has the advantage of ensuring emergency management agencies do not miss out on opportunities for two-way communication even in instances with some element of communication infrastructure disruption. I have come to believe that any emergency management agency or organization not using some form of social media aggregator, is not properly prepared to manage a disaster event.

Bosch, D. (2017). Use of social media and e-Government in disasters: 2016 Louisiana floods case study.

Journal of Emergency Management, 15

(6), 391-405. DOI: 10.5055/jem.2017.0347

ESRI. (n.d.).

Emergency Management.

Retrieved from:

https://www.esri.com/en-us/industries/emergency-management/overview?rmedium=esri_com_redirects01&rsource=/en-us/solutions/industries/emergency-management/overview (Links to an external site.)

United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). (2013, September).

Innovative Uses of Social Media in Emergency Management.

Retrieved from: