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Tweak the Tweet: Leveraging Microblogging Proliferation with a Prescriptive Syntax to Support Citizen Reporting

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journal contribution
posted on 01.05.2010, 00:00 by Kate Starbird, Jeannie Stamberger

In this paper, we propose a low-tech solution for use by microbloggers that could enhance their ability to rapidly produce parsable, crisis-relevant information in mass emergencies. We build upon existing research on the use of social media during mass emergencies and disasters. Our proposed intervention aims to leverage the affordances of mobile microblogging and the drive to support citizen reporting within current behavioral Twitter-based microblogging practice. We introduce a prescriptive, tweet-based syntax that could increase the utility of information generated during emergencies by gently reshaping current behavioral practice. This offering is grounded in an understanding of current trends in norm evolution of Twitter use, an evolution that has progressed quickly but appears to be stabilizing around specific textual conventions.

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01/05/2010