Aaron’s research was recently featured in Engineering for Change. The following is an excerpt from the full article:
Sure, there’s the glut of rants and celebrity apologies on Twitter, but it has also become a tool for coordinating disaster relief. Aaron Opdyke and Amy Javernick-Will at the University of Colorado, Boulder, documented the use of 140 characters or less by aid organizations and governments working in the Philippines in November 2013 in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. The researchers analyzed nearly 350,000 tweets and retweets that originated from the region. They found that government agencies on Twitter had a short reach, but that non-governmental organizations were able to amplify the message through their own accounts to reach Twitter users several times removed from the original tweets.
“Many organizations have started to recognize Twitter as a legitimate means of communication, but the platform still has a long ways to go,” the researchers write. They recommend that organizations encourage their employees and volunteers to use Twitter, and that they use the platform to post links to more detailed information.
Photo credit: Bradly Brown