Thursday, March 25, 2010

Innovative government use of Twitter highlighted in case study

The GovTwit blog has put me on to the latest case study in Twitter 101 (where they showcase how organisations are using Twitter in innovative ways).

It's on the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who are using Twitter to monitor earthquakes as they occur - an early detection system that is proving to be much faster than seismic instruments (at least in populated areas).

The case study, Science for a changing world, reflects some of the discussions I had with Geosciences Australia last year. Geosciences Australia were looking at how they could use social media to detect the human impact of natural disasters and perhaps even identify small earth tremors in populated areas where there are no seismic instruments nearby.

In the USGS's case they are simply listening for mentions of earthquake related words and using them to map the extent of human-felt earth tremors. They also say that,
In sparsely instrumented regions, they can be our first indication that an earthquake may have occurred.

There are many other examples out there of ways that government agencies are using social media in innovative ways to serve the public good.

I just wish I saw more examples of Australian governments putting these uses into practice rather than largely finding them used by overseas jurisdictions.

Many Australians tell me that we are early adopters of technology, highly creative and innovative. Those statements only become true if we prove them every day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Craig,

    Not sure if you had heard about the wine action conducted by Austrade via Twitter? Not a bad example of a government agency being innovative in its use of social media?