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Emergency Knowledge Management and Social Media Technologies: A Case Study of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake

Dave Yates and Scott Paquette

(Submission #243)


Abstract

The U.S. response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake was a large effort coordinated by three major agencies that worked in tandem with the Government of Haiti, the United Nations, and many countries from around the globe. Managing this response effort was a complex undertaking that relied extensively on knowledge management systems (KMS). For the first time, however, U.S. government agencies employed social media technologies such as wikis and collaborative workspaces as the main knowledge sharing mechanisms. In this research we present a case study developed through action research of how these social media technologies were used, what influences they made on knowledge sharing, reuse, and decision-making, and how knowledge was effectively (and at times ineffectively) maintained in these systems. First-hand knowledge of the response is used, offering strategies for future deployment of social media and important research questions that remain regarding social media as knowledge management systems, particularly for disaster and emergency management.

Categories

Program Track:  Track 4 - Information and Knowledge Management
Submission Type:  Research Paper

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