Viability of weather dissemination via social network technologies

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Sunday, 17 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Justin M. Wittrock, NWC REU, Ames, IA; and K. K. Droegemeier and S. A. Erickson

Social networking is a recent product of the ever-increasing advancement in online technology and society's penchant for new modes of communication. Although social network sites are now used to share a broad array of content and is having a global impact on topics as significant as national election, few studies have been conducted to determine the viability of disseminating weather information via social network technologies. Instead, most studies regarding the communication of weather information focus on traditional mediums such as radio, newspaper, TV, and standard Internet web service delivery. Social networking may serve as a useful mechanism for the rapid communication of weather information, especially for severe weather phenomena. The purpose of this study is to determine the practicality and feasibility of using social network sites as a source for weather information distribution. This purpose is fulfilled by conducting a web-based survey given to a group of people that are within the age range of 15 to 65 years old. The survey results revealed that male participants are more likely to choose “Strongly Agree” as compared to female participants. It was also found that the older the respondents are, the more likely they are to disagree. Overall, there is a general consensus that a social network sites would serves as a useful source for weather communication; however, they tend to trust traditional media more so than they would toward social network sites.