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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Virtual Neighborhood Watch: How Social Media is Making Cities Safer

If it does indeed take a village to raise a child, according to African proverb, perhaps it also takes a village to keep us safe. There is an interesting article over at Mashable today titled Virtual Neighborhood Watch: How Social Media is Making Cities Safer. What is most notable about this particular article is the sheer volume of links rounded up that may (or may not!) help communities work together in the virtual world for increased feelings of safety in the physical world.

From the article:
Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even email, instant messaging, and SMS have become the defacto way we communicate with each other. Because of the mainstream embrace of social media, we now live in a world where information is shared at lightning speeds and as a result, we’re actually finding ways to use that free flow of data and information to make the world a safer place to live.

From tracking trends in crime to finding the safest bike routes around a city, from getting emergency alerts during a disaster to understanding the spread of dangerous illnesses, social media is being used by both public officials and private citizens to make our cities safer. This post outlines just a few of the ways that social media tools are now being employed to keep the public safe and informed.

Have you used any of these tools? Have your clients? What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Hmm - I do sometimes look up the kids I work with on Myspace... its amazing what they will put out there!