I have been invited to speak next Thursday on a panel at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Academic Research Symposium. The title of the panel is "Social Media Research for First Responders and Analysts" and it's goal is "...to help researchers understand what operational capability gaps need to be filled."
In hopes of informing my panel talk, I want to ask you what should researchers know about the operational needs of first responders? Especially as it relates to social media!
I am excited about this workshop because it starts to put practitioners with academics in hopes of aligning the priorities of both worlds. In fact, a new term is emerging called the "pracademic." The pracademic has experience as both a practitioner and an academic and chooses to work to align the worlds so that academic research can be as applicable as possible. Patrick Meier captures this well as "scholar-practioner" in Advice to Future PhDs from 2 Unusual Graduating PhDs.
Some prior practioner-based gap analysis work has already been done on this by DHS's Virtual Social Media Working Group (of which I am a member). In June of this year, the VSMWG released Lessons Learned: Social Media and Hurricane Sandy. The report highlighted many of the success and learning points regarding social media. On page 29, it highlights a number of technology, process, and policy gaps requiring further attention. The major themes included:
- Big Data
- Compliance and Requirements
- Standards, Training, and Guidance
- Policy and Process
- Technology, Tools, and Features
I will undoubtedly speak to these gaps, but other feedback and thoughts would be helpful and greatly appreciated!