1. What is a wiki?

  • A wiki is a website that can be edited by people within their web browser
  • It is a type of collaborative web space in which users are encouraged to add or modify content to add value
  • The best known site is Wikipedia, a free online user-created encyclopedia
  • Wikis are used for community websites, corporate intranets and knowledge management systems

2. What is the Emergency 2.0 Wiki used for?

  • The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is a free global resource for using social media and new technology in emergencies
  • The Wiki serves as a global hub for  emergency agencies, government, NGOs, community agencies, business, education, health, media and the public to use social media to better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies
  • The Wiki facilitates collaboration, knowledge sharing and crowdsourcing across the industry sectors to provide users around the world with the latest information, best practices and resources.
  • The vision of the Wiki is to help build resilient communities empowered with the knowledge to use social media and networks in emergencies.

3. What does it contain?

  • Information provided includes tips, guidesapps, mapping tools, videos and an international directory of social media contacts for emergency services, NGOs and volunteer agencies.
  • Practical guidelines, policies and procedures and case studies assist the emergency sector, government, NGO sector and business to use social networks, crowdsourcing and crisis mapping for emergency management and business continuity planning.
  • An accessibility toolkit provides tips, resources and apps to assist people with a disability to overcome the accessibility challenges of  social media. The kit also includes guidelines  for emergency agencies and government.
  • Integration with social media channels/tools to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing including:

    4. Who uses the Wiki?

    Users of the Wiki include:
    • Emergency agencies
    • Government agencies
    • Schools
    • Health sector
    • NGOs and community agencies
    • Business
    • The Media
    • The Public

    5. What emergencies does it cover?

    The Emergency 2.0 Wiki covers the full spectrum of major emergencies that can impact a community eg:
    • Natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, bushfires and earthquakes
    • Manmade emergencies such as train/bus/plane crashes, gas leaks/chemical spills/terrorism
    • Health emergencies such as pandemics

    6. Why do we need to use web 2.0 and social media in emergency communications?

    During recent disasters, we have seen that traditional technologies and methods alone cannot cope sufficiently with the magnitude of the events and the demand from the public to access information and help… as websites crash, phone networks go down and call centres amass unmanageable queues.

    We have witnessed the power of social media utilised:

    • To instantly broadcast and amplify emergency warnings and information
    • To use as a  lifeline enabling people to request rescue
    • To ‘crowdsource’ information from the public
    • To provide real-time interactive maps
    • To withstand the onslaught of millions seeking online information
    • To use as an online billboard to post messages for family and friends that they are safe and to search for missing loved ones
    • To galvanise and mobilise the community to volunteer or make donations.

    Most importantly we have witnessed the empowering nature of social media in enabling the public to seek information for themselves, to share information with others and to make direct contact with people in need.

    7. Why do we need an emergency 2.0 wiki?

    Despite its rising popularity in society, the use of  web2.0 and social media is still not yet a normal part of mainstream emergency communications. There are a number of reasons for this including.

    • Lack of practical guidelines for organisations to follow:

    When the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Working Group launched the wiki vision to the world in early 2011 calling for people to collaborate to help create this resource, there were no published practical guidelines online. The Emergency 2.0 Wiki now contains practical guidelines that organisations can follow to ensure that they effectively use these tools in emergency communications while minimising risk. These guidelines can be used by all sectors of the community: emergency services, government, NGOs, community and business to help our communities better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

    • We also need to empower the public with knowledge on how they can use social media and web 2.0 in emergencies by providing practical tips and links to key resources such as emergency smart phone apps.

    Imagine if our entire community harnessed the power of social media – combining technology and their social networks to provide a communication lifeline during emergencies? For examples of what an emergency 2.0 empowered community could look like, please visit the Future Scenarios pages.

    8. Why a Wiki and not a Website or Blog?

    There are many reasons why we are utilising a wiki as opposed to a website or blog and these are outlined below:
    Access to best practice via crowdsourcing

    The Emergency 2.0 Wiki resources will be developed from crowd sourcing guidelines, templates and tools on using social media in emergencies and applying learnings from the recent disasters. The ‘wisdom of the crowd’ from each of the key sectors: emergency, government, community, ICT sector, volunteer technical community, business and the media will be called on to review and provide input. Where gaps exist, we will crowdsource current best practice ‘business as usual’ social media guidelines, templates and tools for adaption for emergency management.

    Co-Creation of Knowledge and Innovation
    Local challenges are often global challenges – particularly in an area like emergency management. Because the wiki will be created collaboratively, crowdsourcing information and ideas from the global community, new concepts and knowledge on how to apply web2.0 to emergency management will be created.
    Because web 2.0 and social media technology and trends are changing so rapidly, information quickly becomes out of date. As the Emergency 2.0 Wiki is an online ‘living set of documents and links’ it will be continually updated to incorporate new technologies and methodologies.
    Online collaboration and shared understandings among the emergency, government, community and business sectors
    Bringing the emergency, government, community and business sectors together to collaborate online to create guidelines and share information, will encourage shared understandings between the sectors and help bridge silos. This will be facilitated by the discussion pages on the Wiki itself and linked interactive tools such as the LinkedIn Forum, the Blog and Twitter channel and feeds. This will also help build stronger communities ‘offline’.
    Building relationships in the emergency 2.0 community – globally
    The Emergency 2.0 Wiki helps facilitate relationship building in the global emergency 2.0 community. As part of the stakeholder engagement process, alliances are being established with organisations across the industry sectors.
    Greater opportunities for input and engagement
    The Emergency 2.0 Wiki offers multiple opportunities for people to have input and get involved, allowing for a wide range of interests, ideas, capacities, skills and perspectives – while being inclusive, eg:
    • Writing content
    • Editing content
    • Peer reviewing and commenting on discussions about suggested content
    • Contributing to the LinkedIn Group discussions
    • Sharing news, emerging best practice, resources
    • Commenting on the Blog entries
    • Joining the Twitter conversation
    Providing input encourages a sense of ownership and buyin, therefore increasing the chance of takeup
    Acceptance and takeup of new procedures and technologies has far greater success if it is user led and input is enabled. Collaboration and input on the Emergency 2.0 Wiki will foster a sense of shared ownership and encourage takeup and implementation.
    Higher value input
    Because the wiki content is created by people physically editing the online documents and demonstrating ideas in an applied context, the content is likely to be of higher value.
    A Wiki allows for transparent and open engagement in developing the guidelines, templates and tools as people will be able to view the discussion tab linked to each page.

    9. Where is the Wiki being driven from?

    • The Wiki is being driven from Australia (it’s an initiative of the gov2qld community of practice), however it is being steered by Reference Groups consisting of members from all over the world.
    •  Alliances – local, national and international will be continually developed to foster collaboration
    For more information please see About Us

    10. How will you ensure the legitimacy of the information on the Wiki?

    While we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information on the Wiki, we have established a governance framework in an effort to ensure its legitimacy, usefulness and quality. This includes:

        • The Emergency 2.0 Wiki was established by the Wiki Working Group, which was drawn from professionals working in the emergency, government, community, ICT, business, education and media sectors.
        • Reference Groups overseeing key sections of the wiki are drawn from the key sectors above from across the globe.
        • Alliances – local, national and international will be developed with key organisations and groups such as the Business Continuity Institute of Australasia, the Risk Management Institute of Australasia, SM4EM.
        • Contributors to the Wiki (developing or editing content) need to register by applying for membership of the LinkedIn Group, which displays the professional credentials of its members.
        • Key pages will be locked.

    11. How can I contribute to the Wiki?

    There are lots of ways that you can contribute to the Emergency 2.0 Wiki, eg:

        • Writing content
        • Editing content
        • Peer reviewing and commenting on discussions about suggested content
        • Contributing to the LinkedIn discussions
        • Sharing news, emerging best practice, resources
        • Promoting the Wiki to your networks, tweeting and blogging about it!
        • Helping us establish alliances

    To write or edit content you will need to register by applying for membership of the LinkedIn Group, which displays the professional credentials of its members.

    For more information, please visit How to Help.

    12. Will the Wiki provide live (real-time) emergency information and advice?

    No. It is not the purpose of the wiki to provide live emergency information and advice. The wiki’s purpose is to empower the community with the knowledge to use web2.0 and social media to provide, access and share real time, localised emergency information and advice. This includes emergency agencies, government agencies and schools, NGOs and community agencies, business, the media and the public. For examples of what an emergency 2.0 empowered community could look like, please visit the Future Scenarios pages. It is important to also emphasise that the wiki is managed by volunteers.

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