Social media offer tremendous opportunities to expand the distribution and personalization of warnings. Rather than trying to convince the public to adjust to the way scientists communicate, we must adapt to the way the public communicates by leveraging the tools that people use on a daily basis. Using social media allows NWS to more fully engage the public as well as key NWS partners supporting public safety.
The challenge that social media present is how involved members of the NWS's Integrated Warning Team can become in terms of entering the social media “conversation.” They must balance the public's desire for personalized on-the-spot forecasts with the reality of increased workload during high-impact weather and a mission that does not include this level of individualized support.
The NWS Emerging Technologies Integrated Work Team has evaluated and made recommendations that have paved the path forward for NWS to begin using social media. NWS launched experimental Facebook pages in 2011 and has recently engaged in prototype work within Twitter. This presentation will offer an update on NWS efforts in social media, including successes, lessons learned, and plans for the future.
1Source: American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.94aae335470e233f6cf911df43181aa0/?vgnextoid=6bb5a96d0a94a210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD
2Source: KOCO-TV http://www.koco.com/r/27701097/detail.html