Technology Helps Overcome Hurricane Sandy

Like millions of people living along the East Coast this week, I hunkered down and waited out “frankenstorm” that was Hurricane Sandy. My family and I were glued to Facebook and Twitter, in addition to local TV channels and CNN.

I was supposed to be in Utah today to participate in a panel discussion on the use of social media by transportation agencies in the public involvement process. But by Sunday afternoon it was clear that the storm was so huge, my most reasonable plan should be to stay home and make sure my family was safe. My Utah hosts suggested that if conditions allowed we could still have me participate in the session via Skype or Google+

Fortunately, my family and I awoke to power this morning and I quickly connected with Utah. We fired up the Google+ connection, and I was able to share my presentation with the audience.

It was not a perfect solution, but wow! Can you believe how far we have come, that time and space are compressed so easily? Take your pick on tools – we had several options from which to choose – thanks to electricity (which I do not take for granted at all) and a solid internet connection I was able to “be” in Sandy, Utah today despite the damages and delays caused by Hurricane Sandy.

By the way, in addition to the slides, which discussed why social media is really “mobile” media, I was going to share copies of AASHTO’s third annual social media survey report.

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Author: Lloyd Brown

I am the director of communications for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. I enjoy running marathons and triathlons, playing guitar and spending time with family. My professional interest is in how social media and new technology shapes the communication relationship between government and the general public. I have a Master’s degree in Communications and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Washington State University.

2 thoughts on “Technology Helps Overcome Hurricane Sandy”

  1. Great session this morning Lloyd. Your presentation helped spark some very interesting discussions about where social media has taken us in the public involvement field and where it could potentially take us in the future, especially given the ability to reach people via mobile. One interesting mobile discussion I heard was about stakeholders using text to reach the agency. Just a few years ago most of us would never have thought about texting with a constituent, but today it’s not uncommon for a stakeholder to text a PI representative with an issue rather than calling or sending an email.
    We hand an hour and a half and that session could have easily gone for another 30 minutes. I think we should plan a repeat next year!

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