Social media through the storm

In a blog post titled, “Twitter status: anyone need help?” Ian Bryan of Asheville-based Sensible City asks the question: How can we better use social media to cope with future storms or other catastrophes? (Tweetphoto below by Jose Ibarra.)

Here’s an excerpt:

“My wife and I have iPhones and despite constant flickers, AT&T maintained service. Updates coming in from @progressenergy, @citizen-times, @mountainxpress and others made it possible for us to ascertain the reality of the situation at higher and lower altitudes. Using SMS with friends, we were able to identify what stores had opened (Lowes on Smokey Park Hwy was first) where we could find critically needed supplies. We were able to follow the power outages (67,000 outages in Buncombe County) and plan for the worst.”

And some thoughts on how to better use Twitter in the future:

“• Use twitter to identify people in the area who needed help. This includes simply asking the question: anyone need help?
• Use twitter to send more useful/vital information to journalists and city crews (yes, both categories use twitter in small numbers)
• When I found businesses that were open while most were not, I could have used twitter to announce (and ask that others retweet) said locations.”

For the entire post, or to share ideas and feedback, click here

— Alli Marshall, A&E reporter

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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