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Social networking = Plan B

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Nothing short of a volcano should keep you from publishing on the Web.

Nothing short of a volcano should keep you from publishing on the Web.

I blogged about this on my company blog earlier today, but I thought it was worth saying again, publicly.

If you’re a new media person having a hard time selling your bosses on the idea of social networking, here’s something to consider: If you’re in the middle of some breaking news and your Web site goes down, do you have a backup plan?

The Washington State Department of Transportation fell back on its Twitter feed (as well as a few other tools) when major snowstorms hit Seattle earlier this year and high traffic overwhelmed their Web site’s servers.

If your newsroom ended up in a similar situation, would you have similar tools available? Have you bothered to promote them enough to the point that they’d actually be useful?

Obviously there are many more applications to social media than as a grade school earthquake survival kit (that’s just what we had here in Washington when I was a kid), but this one may appeal to even the stodgiest of Old Media curmudgeons.

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