Managing News as a EOC Tool

Updated – 02-17-2010

The new beta of Managing News has some changes to channel tagging. In order to summarize the most relevant data across a number of feeds, a "tag" can be applied that allows for grouping of like items based on the tag. For any particular incident, we'd be able to develop a set of keywords for searching out sources (Google, local news, Twitter, etc.) and tags for organizing content in near real-time.

Project Idea

Here's a little project I'll work on in January-Feburary. Our use case would be using a managingnews instance in conjunction with our Emergency Operations Center. Our case study would be the recent Kerr Hall occupation. The prototype test would be used to pull in RSS feeds from the following:

  • OccupyCA
  • IndyMedia
  • SC Sentinel
  • Student Media sites
  • Twitter feeds (#ucsc, #occupyca, etc.)
  • Local News (KSBW, KION)
  • YouTube

What we're testing is the value of having real time data pulled into a collection point for EOC members to track on while working the incident. My sense of things is that this would be a helpful support tool. The ability to create printed records/reports is appealing as well, since some data gets pulled off the web post-incident and we may need local copies for reference.

Typically, EOC membership consists of Principal Officers in a policy level group and unit directors in an operations level group. Being able to identify a collection of news sources, tagging and presenting summarized and organized information allows one or two roles in an active EOC (could even be external to the EOC) to focus on this type of data wrangling instead of everyone looking at everything. In fact, for certain types of EOC activations, a set list of news sources can be pre-configured for use.

Evaluation / Test Cases

  • Is it easy to support this as an EOC tool?
  • Is it easy for EOC members to add feeds to the tool on-the-fly? 
  • Can/do we secure the site? 
  • Can/would we utilize mapping features? 
  • How would we push data into Facebook or Twitter or email from the managingnews instance?
  • What other functions would make this more useful in an active EOC? e.g., timeline, calendar, image/media management, etc.

Aggregation and Distribution Potential

Lot's of other options exist for aggregating disparate data into this simple UI for reading or reformatting into a published RSS feed. Need to spend some time thinking about using managingnews as re-distribution/preparation/packaging system.





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