#BostonBombings -- The Role of Citizens, Government, and Tech


This is not another post about the pros and cons of citizen journalism or about the shocking terror being experienced by the citizens of Boston, and gripping the world.

This is an invitation to participate in a dialogue with leaders who are coming together TOMORROW to discuss the role of technology in creating a more connected citizenry -- notably during an emergency. This is an area that the people this newsletter reaches can offer a lot of value.

Just as brands need to become social businesses to become the businesses of the future, our government and its citizens must also become a society adept at handling emergencies in the increasingly connected world of the future.

If you were on Twitter or Reddit last night, you were privy to information before anyone watching television. Citizen journalists captured photos and videos live during the shootout, Twitter users aggregated reputable sources into a feed, and the Boston PD sent out warnings to different groups using different hashtags like #MediaAlert and #CommunityAlert. There was some great work happening. But then there was a boy wrongly accused as a suspect on Reddit and a family terrorized for hours.

Socially savvy people understand how to identify reputable sources on Twitter and the importance of cross-checking information before syndicating to their network. But as more and more new people jump into the feed to participate – the bad information is no longer filtered and even worse -- as in the Iran Revolution, dangerous people use the medium to insert misinformation and cause mass confusion.

This is not a topic we can afford to only think about while an emergency is happening -- a lot of infrastructure, process, and knowledge needs to be developed for us to be able to organize in a way that is streamlined and helpful.

This is a real-time world we live in and we need to work together to figure out how to leverage technology to serve society as a whole – not just our clients and our brands.

 Gov 2.0 is tackling these questions with leaders at the intersection of both government and technology. This is why I am attending, and this is why I am a sponsor.

Please, join us tomorrow: Live From Gov 2.0 LA | April 20th  

By Gretchen Fox, Social Architect at grtchnfx 

Posted on April 19, 2013 .