Cloud for a Cause: Applying Social Media to Humanitarian Relief

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Social media can provide a wealth of information for businesses – and non-profits alike but the challenge goes beyond capturing the data.  Organizations need a way to effectively extract actionable information from what is truly Big Data.
  • Thanks to a gift from Dell of technology, funding, and teachings culled from its own experiences with social media, the American Red Cross is now ready to go through the cloud to capture critical information that can help the organization accelerate its responses to those in need.

For all the discussions around the cloud as a revolutionary force, when it comes down to the cloud it is really just a delivery channel for IT.  So whether that IT being delivered involves compute processing, storage, software applications, or data, the objective is to use the medium to promote more efficient and flexible consumption.  One resource businesses have looked to access through the cloud is data collected from social media.  Twitter feeds, blog posts, and Facebook updates can yield crucial information about things like brand influence, buying patterns, and product satisfaction that a business can then turn around to use for product development, marketing, and sales strategy.  Similarly in the very different world of humanitarian relief efforts, non-profit organizations are finding that social media can inform the way they respond to emergency situations whether they are natural or manmade. Continue reading “Cloud for a Cause: Applying Social Media to Humanitarian Relief”