Here at EPA, we were quite busy this spring providing information about radiation levels resulting from the earthquake and tsunami that damaged Japanese nuclear reactors. Check out the site!
Now we’re thinking about lessons learned, and one thing I came up with was a concept of a question/answer “hourglass,” where we take in questions from multiple channels and issue the same answers through multiple channels. While the input/output channels overlap a lot, they don’t totally coincide
I know this is hardly a new concept, and I’ve heard “no wrong door” before, but what was new, or at least, was new for us during a crisis, was the addition of directly responding via social media. Until now, we haven’t really responded to people much via Facebook, Twitter, etc. I wrote earlier about the special challenges of using social media to respond during a crisis. Now, with some time to think, I’m looking at how to best arrange things so we bake it in, rather than bolting it on.
So here’s my concept in visual form. Please forgive the formatting in the graphic below – my emphasis was on speed, not beauty.
In case you’re not familiar with Socrata (see the lower left corner), it’s a data provision/exploration site that we’ve used in both the BP spill and the Japanese radiation response to provide raw data. Socrata is also now operating data.gov.