The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age


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This informative guide reveals the ways we fall into Internet addiction, many times without even realizing it and how we can get back to more personal, meaningful relationships. With tips and advice for reconnecting with those most important to us in our lives and learning to once again adapt to the real world, we will discover our true selves buried beneath the URL addresses, social networking accounts and e-mail addresses. A founding member of the American Board of Neuropsychology, he founded the first school in England for children with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and presently operates fourteen schools for children with learning difficulties.

He has written school reform legislation and was named a lead research scientist on a major grant form the National Institutes of Mental Health. He resides in St. Based on the variety of approaches presented above, this aspect can be aided by discourse analysis 95 , linguistic analysis and natural language processing.

Using lexical approach 96 and psycholinguistic tools 53 , crisis managers can analyze messages from different perspectives— from syntactic features of the text and various word meaning categories e.

LIWC categories. To gain feedback from the affected public, one should monitor social media and extract signs from citizen who speak and discuss the emergency. Temnikova et al.

Such resource can assist decision makers monitor different categories of information, and later communicate to the public on the most prominent information. Once information is retrieved, automated text analytical approaches, like opinion mining, can assist in capturing public's perceptions. Opinion mining refers to the extraction of emotion, appraisal and opinion words that are associated with certain social issue, people or entity e.

Seeger 32 argued that capturing public's perceptions are important due to the tight association between beliefs and actions. He adds that monitoring public's risk perceptions and opinion prior and during crisis is essential for crisis response and message adaptation to public's needs and concerns.

Opinion and sentiment classification is performed on a document and sentence levels by extracting relevant features e.

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The most common methodology involves pre-defined sentiment or opinion lexicons that carry thousands of domain-specific words, or machine learning techniques that use supervised learning for sentiment classification.. Unfortunately, assessment of sentiment towards the general crisis event provides only partial information for crisis communication practitioners regarding crowd opinion, since it is not matched to specific risk or issue, and more. In the case of health crisis and pandemics, however, considerable research is found.

They further found strong correlation between sentiments expressed online and CDC-estimated vaccination rates by geographical region.

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This provides good example of how policy makers can use publicly available data to learn about public's perception regarding risk and its' related behaviors. Possibly one of the most researched topics in the domain of disaster computing and social media research during crisis, is information credibility , Castillo et al.

Their automatic credibility estimation was done by extracting message-based features e. Evaluat ion and assessment of responses, including the effectiveness of communication. Similarly to the previous section, evaluation of public responses can be achieved through continuous social media monitoring using opinion mining, to infer on concerns, panics, and the emotional impacts of interactions among social media users Recent studies demonstrated capabilities to track changes in sentiments of affected public during natural disasters 99 , , In the above paragraphs, we described how advanced analytical tools can be integrated in the processes and aims of crisis communication.

We suggest that the availability of the computational techniques can improve communication with the public by a process of hyper-targeted crisis communication.

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Figure 1 demonstrates how the data posted and shared through social media is collected for monitoring, analyzed and prepared for a tailor-made crisis communication. In the process, massive amounts of textual user-generated content in social media is continually generated and monitored for crisis or emergency related communication. Once detected, content is collected and transferred to the analytical phase, where it is preprocessed, analyzed according to various text mining analytical methods. The information then is either transferred for reporting where it can be visualized and interpreted or moves to the communication management module.

Authorities, crisis managers and designated spokespersons personnel can communicate with the public, using the communication management module, which include a recommender system that proposes matched messages. This sub-system is also responsible for target audience profiling i. Bi-directional communication is then monitored for matching accuracy and secondary messages in the communication.

During the conversation, a crisis messaging recommender system formulates messages based on conversation history and the other available parameters. Automatic categorization of unstructured vital information is of high importance for speeding up disaster management. Being able to capture these aspects, emergency authorities can be more synchronized with population needs and thus more effective in their response to the public during disaster. By integrating disaster related psychosocial aspects in a command and control disaster management systems, they will be in a better position to manage the situation and speed up recovery.

This can further lead to a more cooperative public and enhanced public morale. It is our assumption that such focused messaging may not only improve the reception of the message, but also contribute to the ensuing behavior or compliance which is critical in disasters. One should remember that beyond text, additional forms of data are published on social media, sometimes far more influencing, since pictures regular photo or meme may generate more engagement than other forms of data including text and video Research documents applicable tools for multimodal analysis of social media content, that include both textual and visual data, e.

Flicker photos, YouTube videos and more Thus, more precise public monitoring could be accomplished when integrating data from different modalities and content qualities, as adjacent task in the crisis communication processes. The above literature focused mainly on text that appears in the social media, that can be extracted and analyzed. As for now, some social media platforms offer easy means of extracting data, like the Twitter Streaming API One limitation in social media analysis is the inaccessibility to Facebook public feed API, which is restricted to a limited set of media publishers.

This limitation is restricting research institutes and companies to obtain public posts, in a similar way that is available in Twitter. It is possible, though, to extract data from Fan Pages and Groups using publically available applications, like NetVizz Decision makers should not solely rely on text analytics in social media when doing crisis communication.


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Though social media is very popular and has very high penetration rate 11 , some social and age groups in the population are not connected to the internet As this population tends to receive the information and guidelines during real time emergency via TV, radio, newspaper and word-of-mouth -the instructions will still need to use traditional means of mass communication.. Despite recent anecdotal reports indicating that authorities e. Home-front command increase their presence in the social media and continuously interact with the public in times of calm and emergency, still authorities prefer to communicate with the public in non-interactive means.

This was previously mentioned as an obstacle for crisis communication in light of the raising of social media. Nonetheless, decision makers should not solely rely on methods of text analytics and data mining in social media when doing crisis communication and follow a well-organized risk and crisis communication plan It is almost impossible not to consider privacy issues when discussing targeted communication Collecting information about the behavior of social media users, for research or commercial purposes, is considered invasive by the public as well as inappropriate Recently, the use of Facebook as a research platform for massive social experiment , was criticized for not passing the ethical board and not providing informed consent to the participants.

Conversely, Facebook advertising system is using profile information and interests extracted from activity patterns of the users , to deliver targeted messages.

The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-To-Face Contact in the Electronic Age

Hence, authorities have to deal with this issue using sound legal advice and should address the privacy issues in their communications with the public to build trust and credibility. Both user profiling i. In both processes, user preferences are used for content recommendation.


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However, the application of behavioral-targeted recommendation system in the field of crisis communication is novel and deserves future studies. We propose that behavioral-targeted recommendation systems in the domain of crisis communication would be applied on two levels; public level and decision maker level. On the public level, personalized and adapted crisis messages would pop-up or appear in popular websites and social media based on two possible parameters: 1 the written content people provide on these sites e.

This approach would be effective if the user is active and engaged, but also may be relevant for passive users that mainly consume content rather than commenting on it. This proposal will be feasible in social media platforms which allow the tracking of users or has an agreement for data sharing with authoritative bodies. On the decision maker level, designated spokespersons would be assisted by the messaging recommender system to adapt their linguistic style to the user who approaches them or vice versa thus "tailoring" the response and assisting people in real-time to get the appropriate help, directions or support.

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While certain online platforms for communication with the public in emergency were proposed , they all significantly lack the user-profiling element, that might be in practice, an important factor in communication efforts We suggest social media management tools 29 as suitable platform for crisis communication, as some of the tools enable the integration of extensions and apps that assist in social media data extraction, analytics and interpretation. In very fast pace, social media have acquired a prominent role in media and our daily life During crisis and emergency, people tend to approach social media not only because of the need for quick information, but also due to the human tendency for storytelling, which allows people to experience their lives as coherent, orderly and meaningful.

Communication with public during emergency is critical for successful emergency management life saving, rescue and recovery. On the other hand , one should take into account that 2. Using state of the art computational tools makes this mission possible. Being one of the fundamental tools of emergency management , crisis and risk communication play an important role in mitigating, or exacerbating, the psychological and behavioral reactions to critical incidents and disasters.

Thus the task of continues monitoring of the social web for crisis related information can significantly improve the efforts of emergency management.

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This is the reason for officials to be eager to exploit social media content to gain insight from the public for the optimization of risk and crisis communication Officials should also remember that the most effective communication are those designed for a specific audience Research shows that interpersonal communication that is linguistically matched between the communicators is not only more successful, but also reflects our natural tendency to adjust ourselves to the listener.

Finally, decision makers and crisis managers need to acknowledge the potential of the massive generated textual information published during times of emergency in the social media. This knowledge is not only beneficial for situational awareness but also for user profiling, which in our case, is not intended for marketing purposes. Behavioral analyzed information from text posted on social media can leverage targeted communication during crisis, by automatic target audience characterization and adapted, psycholinguisticly matched risk message preparation.

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Version 1. PLoS Curr.

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Published online March Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are properly credited. Abstract Introduction: The extensive use of social media in modern life redefines social interaction and communication.

The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age
The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age
The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age
The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age
The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age
The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age

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