All in Best Practices

School Communications & Emergency Response: What are the Implications for Social Media?

I’ve been reading documents from a page of links relevant to emergency planning for schools that is maintained by the Texas A&M University’s Integrative Center for Homeland Security. According to the Center’s blog, the list was started in response to the Virginia Tech shooting. I’m looking for information on the implications of using social media and social networking systems as part of the “mix” of communication tools that are relevant in an emergency.
One blog I read is the Microsoft Knowledge Network Team Blog (registration required). It describes development and features of the "Knowledge Network" product that will accompany Microsoft's upcoming Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 which is also in Beta status.
In the old days of planned release schedules and successively more capable release functionality, the term “beta” was applied typically to limited-release software where both distribution and user environments were tightly controlled and monitored. Nowadays businesses are being built upon “beta” software that goes into universal web wide availability along with statements of incompleteness and limited support. Users are invited to use and write about the software. Users get early peaks at and access to useful features. Producers get real world feedback which helps further the development of future releases.
Within one week of coming home after a successful first year at Virginia Tech, Number One Daughter started her Summer job hostessing at a large and popular riverfront restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. While driving her to work one day, I asked her how things were going at the job. The conversation that followed reminded me several things relevant to intelligent management practices.