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Microsoft Launches Social Media Tool

Emergency managers could use Vine to communicate with citizens.

by / April 28, 2009

Microsoft today launched a new social media product called Microsoft Vine aimed at being a local means of communication even during emergencies.

It is aimed at the consumer and connecting people in the traditional social media way but with added functions, such as mapping and the ability to define a specific area of interest, neighborhood or community. It allows consumers to send out notifications to specific individuals, which could prove valuable during emergencies.

The product could help emergency managers connect with their local communities by:

  • establishing electronic relationships with people they would otherwise not be able to connect with;
  • providing situational awareness during and after a disaster with reports from citizens; and
  • posting disaster damage assessments with geo-coding and photos of damages.

Microsoft is beta-testing the product in select cities, such as Seattle, working with emergency management agencies to test the above concepts.