Facebook 'Safety Check' Connects Users After Disasters - InformationWeek

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Facebook 'Safety Check' Connects Users After Disasters
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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
10/27/2014 | 9:02:49 PM
Re: Nearby Friends
@Joe Haha. It's a creepy feature, which is why I'd never turn it on. I don't need everyone to know where I am (and I don't really care where anyone else is). Too much stalking potential.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
10/22/2014 | 1:43:30 AM
Re: Facebook as a utility
Thanks, Alison.  :)

In terms of friends and family members checking in, you have to remember that most of the world is not like us; they are not connected 24/7 like us tech-heads.  ;)  As such, unlike the social media nerds and the hipsters, they are not likely to go right to FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn immediately after a disaster.

Reminds me of an image that went viral some years ago--of a sign that reads: "IN CASE OF FIRE, EXIT BUILDING BEFORE TWEETING ABOUT IT".
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
10/21/2014 | 10:57:49 PM
Re: Nearby Friends
The "Nearby Friends" feature is ridiculous.

I remember my first encounter with it.  It told me about one of my female friends being at some local bridal shop with a bunch of other women (I think she was a bridesmaid for someone's wedding).

What was I supposed to do with that information?  Just show up and be like, "Hello, ladies"?  > > > ;)
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/20/2014 | 12:46:12 PM
Re: Facebook as a utility
In instances like this, I would definitely default to Facebook to see whether loved ones are okay. I've already done it when things like earthquakes or wildfires hit wide regions of the country and i'm not quite sure how close friends live to an affected region. (I remember when you posted the "I'm fine" message on FB after the Boston bombing, btw, Joe and it was a big relief.) 

It's also a reason I'm mildly upset many family members don't use FB or even Twitter; at least if they had a minimal presence on social media they could use it to check in if something catastrophic happened in their region. If, as I hope never happens, something bad does occur in their regions, I'll have to go back to the old-fashioned route of jammed phone lines and crossed fingers to try to reach them!
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
10/20/2014 | 10:32:06 AM
Nearby Friends
Safety Check made me think about Facebook's "Nearby Friends" feature. I would never turn this on under normal circumstances because I think it's unnecessary for everyday use, but what if you knew your area would be hit by a severe natural disaster like a hurricane? Coupled with Safety Check, I'd certainly consider turning it on, if just for the short term. 
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
10/20/2014 | 10:29:04 AM
Re: So this is...
I remember a similar response to a friend's post after the Virginia Tech shooting. Amid the chaos, a friend we were concerned about posted that he was ok, to the relief of everyone. Facebook's Safety Check may not be perfect in all scenarios, but it's worthwhile if it helps some people. 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
10/17/2014 | 7:48:14 AM
Re: So this is...
FWIW, I remember after the Boston Marathon bombing I posted a simple "Loved ones and I are okay" to my Facebook feed.

Neither before nor since have I had a more-Liked status.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
10/17/2014 | 7:46:11 AM
Facebook as a utility
The especially brilliant thing about this is that Facebook is taking an already popular use of its service and expanding upon it, elevating its own service from a mere "service" to the status of "utility" -- something that people cannot live without -- joining the ranks of electricity and running water.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
10/16/2014 | 10:43:37 PM
Re: What about electricity?
@bkhofmann: This is true. Natural disaster affected areas will have power disruptions, uprooted towers and whatnot. Facebook alone with improper tower connections cannot cover the entire area. If our phones were satellite phones, facebook could have made something about it.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
10/16/2014 | 10:36:53 PM
Re: What about electricity?
That should be the case because when disaster strikes, loved ones would want to know about the current state of the person and facebook would be a good source to say that (a phonecall will suffice too). Facebook should take into consideration road and aviation accidents, but how will facebook know the person is travelling on that train? More tracking?
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