Social media

Social media refers to a range of internet-based applications that support the creation and exchange of user-generated content - including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

They can provide a source of data for evaluations, not only of social media activities.

This image from The Conversation Prism maps the current social media landscape demonstrating its complexity and spread. The map can be used to support the development of a comprehensive social media strategy;

the conversation prism, a visual map of the social media landscape


The American Red Cross Digital Operations Centre

The American Red Cross (ARC) opened their Digital Operations Centre (DOC) in 2012 in order to track the use of social media during disaster relief operations.  The centre monitors and responds to social media such as tweets and Facebook posts in order to access disaster information in real time.  It allows ARC to see when and where the disaster is occurring and more importantly, who needs help.  The DOC came into play during Hurricane Sandy and allowed ARC to direct resources where they were most needed by tracking and responding to social media chatter directed specifically at them. The following slide show from Gloria Huang gives some insight into how the ARC used the DOC during the disaster.  This blog post by Beth Kanter provides more detail into the operation of the DOC.  ​


Kanter, B. Beth's Blog, (2013). Is “ambient data” from social media channels useful for funders?. Retrieved from website:

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