Bill Bratton and Zach Tumin: The New “Collabonomics” of Disaster Management

Last week’s New England snowmeggadon showed us how far social media has come in making collaboration across the boundaries of government and citizens easy. And it offered stark contrast between those who get it and use it, and those who don’t.

Social media and the digital devices that connect us change the collabonomics of disaster management — and practically demand that in dealing with disaster governments make collaboration via social media the first play they run.

What’s collabonomics? It’s the political economy of collaboration.

In today’s networked world social media changes the politics of collaboration, and the economics.

Citizens expect the responsiveness and engagement that social media makes possible. “I have knowledge,” they say. “Engage me. Use it. And give me back all the knowledge you’ve scooped up from others.”

They know perfectly well that social media takes the friction out of find-engage-transact. Government can cheaply learn what citizens know. And, no citizen has to stand out there screaming to get someone in government’s attention.

With that, the networked world – our connections, our devices – makes every citizen a sensor. Governments can see the totality of the disaster before them as never before.

That awareness drops right to the bottom line of improved performance – and enhanced satisfaction.

Whether by Facebook, Twitter, Ushahidi – take your pick – it’s safe to say that social media has transformed the collabonomics of disaster management.

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Zach Tumin

Hats off to New Canaan CT Office of Emergency Management. They posted this to its FB site, Monday 6:45PM:

“Town-wide restoration is complete. The Emergency Operations Center has been closed. Any new power issues should be repored to CL&P at (800) 286-2000. The Office of Emergency Management would like to thank everyone for their patience and grace in dealing with yet another difficult extended period without power. We are grateful that there were no serious injuries as a result of Winter Storm Alfred. Be safe.”

Awesome job! https://www.facebook.com/NewCanaanOEM