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Jeannette N. Sutton, Emma S. Spiro, Britta Johnson, Sean M. Fitzhugh, Mathew Greczek, & Carter T. Butts. (2012). Connected communications: Network structures of official communications in a technological disaster. In Z.Franco J. R. L. Rothkrantz (Ed.), ISCRAM 2012 Conference Proceedings – 9th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management. Vancouver, BC: Simon Fraser University.
Abstract: Informal online communication channels are being utilized for official communications in disaster contexts. Channels such as networked microblogging enable public officials to broadcast messages as well as engage in direct communication exchange with individuals. Here we investigate online information exchange behaviors of a set of state and federal organizations during the Deepwater Horizon 2010 oil spill disaster. Using data from the popular microblogging service Twitter, we analyze the roles individual organizations play in the dissemination of information to the general public online, and the conversational microstructure of official posts. We discuss characteristics and features of following networks, centrality, and conversational dynamics that may affect information exchange in disaster. This research provides insight into the use of networked communications during an event of heightened public concern, describes implications of conversational features, and suggests directions for future research. Â© 2012 ISCRAM.