My teacher told me Toowoomba will never flood: regional community uses of Facebook during the 2011 Queensland floods

McWilliam, Kelly (2013) My teacher told me Toowoomba will never flood: regional community uses of Facebook during the 2011 Queensland floods. Queensland Review, 20 (1). pp. 86-95. ISSN 1321-8166

Abstract

Regional Queensland and social media are not standard bedfellows in studies of Australian media use. Yet regional community responses to recent natural disasters on Facebook in particular warrant further investigation. Indeed, while the increasing use of social media by government organisations during disasters and other crises is by now well documented, the comparative surge in community uses — and particularly regional community uses — has received considerably less attention. This article is broadly interested in regional Queensland uses of Facebook during the 2011 Queensland floods, specifically the 'Toowoomba & Darling Downs Flood Photos & Info Page' (https://www.facebook.com/TmbaLockyerFloods?fref=ts 10 January 2011). Drawing on an interview with the page's creator, I consider both the speed and apparent efficacy of the page as a tool of grassroots (or unofficial) crisis communication, partly compared with its most obvious official counterpart, the Toowoomba Regional Council's Facebook page. Ultimately, I argue that the 'Toowoomba & Darling Downs Flood Photos & Info Page' offers an emphatically more useful model of social media-based crisis communication from which others might draw.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published Version restricted in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - School of Humanities and Communication
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2014 12:22
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2015 01:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: flooding; disaster communication; informational social media; grassroots communication
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200101 Communication Studies
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0805 Distributed Computing > 080503 Networking and Communications
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing > 190399 Journalism and Professional Writing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950204 The Media
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1017/qre.2013.7
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24842

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