The art of the hashtag for emergency management


Social Media and Disasters and Hashtags

idisaster 2.0

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Post by: Kim Stephens

When using twitter to communicate with the public, one important aspect to learn is the art of the hashtag. As more and more emergency management agencies come online with social media, it is interesting to watch what hashtags are being used during a crisis or disaster event. During the discussion about the use of hashtags in the last #SMEM chat, it was noted that presently no standard set of tags are being used; so far, individual states and localities are creating their own. For example, during the big snow storm this week, some states used the systems of <hashtag> < storm>, or  #NMstorm. Oklahoma adopted #OKice and #OKwx among others. That, however, didn’t stop the public from using many other tags including #SNOMG and #blizzard.

But first, what exactly is a hashtag? According to the Twitter Fan wiki page: “Hashtags are a community-driven convention for…

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