Using Twitter for Sharing Traffic & Emergency Information

I haven’t seen much use for Twitter, until now. It started last week when I was trying to think of ways that the students and faculty could post or view information about our Blackboard System. Maybe students could post to a specific Twitter hashtag ( e.g. #uncfsubb ) when they wanted to report a system availability problem, or look to see if others were having a similar problem, or see if there was official info regarding what was causing the problem and how much longer the system might be unavailable. *So, I might put the above hashtag in a mailto link on an alternate Bb web page. The viewer could both search on Twitter for postings under that hashtag, and they could also easily post using that hashtag.

Okay, so that is what had gotten me looking at Twitter recently. So, yesterday, I was crossing I95 just north of Lumberton, NC. As I did so, I saw that both lanes of north bound I95 traffic were at a standstill, looking both north and south, as far as the eye could see. It was then that I thought, it would be useful if there were a standard Twitter hashtag for people to use when they were on a specific road and they encountered a problem, or were looking for info about a slowdown, etc. So, “#I95NCTraffic” would be a nice Twitter hashtag to use if you were anywhere along I95 in North Carolina and either saw an accident, had to make a detour, wanted to know why traffic was backed up on I95, etc.

I’ve also thought that Twitter hashtags would be great for sharing info during an emergency situation (if the power wasn’t out to your mobile device). Maybe you’re having to evacuate “the island” and you would like suggestions for the best route away. That would be in addition to the posted signs by the State (or Federal Govt.). Maybe you are looking to see if you want to go to Raleigh, or if it would be best to detour elsewhere.

The State could post these Twitter hashtags on roads and then, if it was needed, you could check there.